The world’s longest-reigning monarch, Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has passed away at the age of 88.

After suffering from a series of age-related health problems, the king who was also known as King Bhumibol the Great, died on Thursday at Siriraj hospital in Bangkok.

“His Majesty passed away peacefully at Siriraj Hospital,” read the palace statement. “Even though the doctors tried their best to save His Majesty, his condition deteriorated”

Thousands of people gathered outside Siriraj hospital, bursting in tears upon hearing the news.

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As the ninth monarch of Thailand, King Bhumibol took the throne since he was 18 years old in 1946, and had served the country for more than 70 years.

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64-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn who is the only son of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, is expected to succeed to the throne of Thailand.

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