One of the things I like most about living in Thailand is witnessing, on a daily basis, the intense love the Thai people hold for their king, the ninth of the Chakri Dynasty. Known in the West as King Rama IX, his name is actually HRH King Bhumipol Adulyadej and he was born on 5 December 1924 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. I was born 5 December 1965 and thus have a public holiday on my birthday each year that I stay in Thailand. Throughout the year, most public buildings and private residences display yellow flags honoring His Majesty and patrons are required to stand at the beginning of each movie as the Royal Anthem is played in the cinema along with images of the king.
Every year, there is a special stamp issue honoring the king’s birthday – sometimes multiple stamps are released along with a myriad of postal stationery and sometimes there is just a single stamp issued. The postcard above was released by Thailand Post in 2011 marking King Bhumipol’s 87th birthday. I particularly like the gold border and the fact that the preprinted stamp has punched-hole perforations surrounding it (see scan below of the other side of the card). As with many official post cards released in this country, I was wholly unaware of its release until long after the event had passed. The press releases sent out by Thailand Post tend to focus solely on commemoratives and skip the definitive issues and cards, letter sheets, limited mini-sheets, etc. making it a real challenge to form a complete collection each year.