Who is Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Thailand's soon-to-be king?

Thailand's parliament has named the country's new king, following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October.

His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, will be formally invited by the president of Thailand's National Assembly, Pornpetch Wichitcholcha, to take the throne, although the date has not been announced.

Vajiralongkorn will be the 10th monarch in the Chakri dynasty, which was founded in 1782.

Who is he?

(Sakchai Lalit/AP)
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn with his late father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and mother, Queen Sirikit (Sakchai Lalit/AP)

The 64-year-old crown prince is actually the king's second child, but his only son. He has had time to prepare for his accession, as his father named him successor to the throne in 1972.

Vajiralongkorn has a reputation as a playboy, more interested in parties than state affairs. He has been married to three different women, with whom he has seven children.

He was educated at boarding school in the UK, then moved to undertake military training at Australia's Royal Military College becoming a military officer. In 1980 a trip to the United States for advanced military training sparked a love of flying.

The crown prince leads other cyclists in an event in Bangkok (AP)

Until recently the crown prince spent a large amount of time in Germany, where he owns several properties.

In the last few years he has begun to take a more prominent role in royal ceremonies and in 2015 he led two high-profile bike rides in honour of his parents' birthdays.

When will he become king?

(Sakchai Lalit/AP)
(Sakchai Lalit/AP)

Although it is thought to be a relatively straightforward succession, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the crown prince told him he did not want to immediately assume the throne in order to allow time to mourn his father.

The government announced a year of mourning for the late king and Thais have been paying their respects to his remains at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

It is thought Vajiralongkorn's coronation will not be until after his father is cremated.

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