AP Photos: The path to coronation for Thailand’s king

May 3, 2019 GMT
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Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, center, pays homage to the Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn in Bangkok, Thursday, May 2, 2019. The coronation ceremonies for 66-year-old King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as King Rama X, will be held on May 4-6, 2019. (Pool Photo via AP)
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Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, center, pays homage to the Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn in Bangkok, Thursday, May 2, 2019. The coronation ceremonies for 66-year-old King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as King Rama X, will be held on May 4-6, 2019. (Pool Photo via AP)

Three days of elaborate, centuries-old rituals beginning Saturday will formally endow Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn with regal legitimacy.

He succeeded to the throne after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016.

The 66-year-old Vajiralongkorn faces a challenge in the long-standing comparisons to his hardworking, deeply respected father. He spends stretches of time abroad, so building his standing among Thais will take time.

He participated in two-high profile events in 2015, leading thousands of Thais in mass bicycling events to mark his parents’ birthdays.

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He this week confirmed his fourth marriage, to a general in the palace security force now with the title Queen Suthida.