This month is high season for royal jubilees, and I mark two of them with articles in the June issue of Majesty (Vol. 37, No. 6).
While the official celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain's ninetieth birthday will take place next weekend, the world's longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, will have been on the throne for seventy years on Thursday. His diamond jubilee in 2006 saw splendid celebrations attended by royals and heads of state from around the world, but Thursday's celebrations will be rather low-key and without the King's presence. Both he and Queen Sirikit are in hospital, and the bulletins published during the last days and weeks give cause for concern. In one article, I investigate the issue of the succession to King Bhumibol, and how this thorny issue has become entangled with the political struggle that has engulfed Thailand in recent years. Indeed, it seems that if the military junta is still in power when King Bhumibol dies, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn may be passed over.
My second article in this issue deals with Queen Silvia of Sweden, who married King Carl XVI Gustaf on 19 June 1976 and can therefore look back at forty years as Queen this month, while I look back at her life, how she has shaped her role and her contribution to the Swedish monarchy.