(London Guardian) Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, a three-times divorced playboy who made his pet poodle an air chief marshal in the Thai military, poses perhaps the biggest challenge for both the country's monarchists and its ruling junta in coming weeks, following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Vajiralongkorn, who has asked for some time to mourn with the Thai people before his appointment, was born to be king. However, though he trained at Australia's Duntroom military college and boasts a string of military titles and a pilot's licence, for decades he has shown little interest in the public duties that will be expected of one of the world's most revered monarchies.
Instead Vajiralongkorn has built up a reputation for womanising, extravagance, bizarre self-indulgence and occasional cruelty, including to his own children, several of whom have been stripped of their names and titles and live in exile.
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