Thailand’s 64-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has asked for more time to mourn after his father’s death before taking the throne, with the BBC reporting that his coronation will not be held for at least a year.
In a televised address on Saturday night, junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha conveyed the Crown Prince’s message to the public, according to Thai newspaper the Nation.
The statement came after General Prayuth and former Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda — who is standing in as regent — met with the Crown Prince at Dusit Palace.
“HRH the Crown Prince has mentioned an important thing, saying that people should have no confusion over the administration and succession to the throne since the process is clearly stated in the constitution and the palace law,” said Prayuth, according to the Nation. “It will happen when all people and he have passed the grieving time.”
Prayuth added that preparations for King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s funeral would be discussed at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The cremation is not expected until after the yearlong mourning period is over.
Prayuth, who took power after a coup in 2014, has promised elections next year.
King Bhumibol was widely revered in Thailand, with his reign seen as a stabilizing influence amid the country’s turmoil. So far, the Crown Prince has not commanded the same devotion.