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Coronation of New Thai King Set for May 4-6

FILE - Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, center, holds a candle light during a ceremony at Emerald Buddha temple, in Bangkok, Thailand, May 29, 2018.

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn will have his official coronation on May 4, the palace announced Tuesday.

The coronation will be more than two years after Vajiralongkorn succeeded his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died at age 88 after reigning for seven decades.

The palace said the coronation ceremonies for Vajiralongkorn, 66, will be held on May 4-6, with the monarch making a public appearance on the last day.

Bhumibol's coronation, held almost four years after he was named king, took place in 1950 on May 5, a date that is a public holiday in Thailand.

Major royal ceremonies in Thailand are usually very ornate, but Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in June last year that Vajiralongkorn had expressed the desire that his coronation be held in a relatively modest manner, though in keeping with elaborate royal tradition.

Vajiralongkorn gave a New Year's Eve address televised Monday night, wishing the Thai people good health, happiness and prosperity, and urging them to act virtuously for the sake of the nation. His New Year's greeting card, another tradition, expressed similar sentiments.