Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, became Thailand’s new king on December 1 after he accepted an invitation from parliament to succeed his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October. King Bhumibol, 88, was widely loved and regarded as a pillar of stability during decades of political turbulence and rapid development in the Southeast Asian nation. Prince Vajiralongkorn, who will be known as King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, according to a statement released by parliament’s public relations department, met Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the National Legislative Assembly, at Bangkok’s Dusit Palace. “I would like to accept the invitation for the benefit of the Thai people,” the new king said in a televised statement. His ascension will likely allay worries among some analysts that the kingdom was headed for a period of instability following the death of King Bhumibol, according to a senior Western diplomat who declined to be named because speaking about the royal family is a sensitive matter in Thailand. “This royal succession highlights a desire for stability and continuity in Thailand,” he said. The United States, a longtime ally of Thailand, sent its “warmest congratulations” to Mr Vajiralongkorn.