Thai currency featuring new king to enter circulation in April
March 08 2018 12:11 PM
New baht banknotes featuring Thailands King Maha Vajiralongkorn
New baht banknotes featuring Thailands King Maha Vajiralongkorn


Thailand will begin circulating new bank notes featuring King Maha Vajiralongkorn for the first time in April, the Bank of Thailand announced Thursday.

The new bank notes will replace those featuring Vajiralongkorn's late father king Bhumibol Adulyadej, in use throughout a seven-decade reign which ended with his death in 2016.

The former currency will still be legally accepted, however, the central bank announced.

The new notes - in 20, 50 and 100-baht (64-cent, 1.6-dollar and 3.2-dollar) denominations - will be released on April 6, the 236th anniversary of the reigning Chakri Dynasty.

The 500 and 1,000-baht notes will enter circulation on the new king's birthday on July 28.

The monarchy is a deeply revered institution in Thailand. Defacing the king's image on bank notes not only offends Thai people, but can also lead to imprisonment.

Thailand's tough lese-majesty law also prohibits criticism, insults and threats made against the royal family. Perpetrators face up to 15 years in prison per offence if found guilty.

Since ascending the throne in late 2016, Vajiralongkorn has made several moves to assert power over Thai politics and consolidate control within the palace, contrary to his late father's dissociation from state affairs.

The 65-year-old king has spent considerable time living in Germany in recent years as crown prince and now as king. His primary residence is in Bangkok but he keeps a private villa in the Bavarian municipality of Tutzing near Munich as his second home.

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