The facts that are known are not that unusual. Two brothers, a gun goes off, the elder brother is dead, his younger brother a teenager. Even talking about it can land you in jail looking at having a seriously bad time.
Today, because of that incident, the younger brother is worth 30 billion dollars. Accident? Murder? Regicide? The story begins as do many stories in Cambridge Massachusetts
That's where the king of Thailand was born. His dad was going to medical school.
No one knows what happened that day. The young prince in killing his brother became the new heir to the throne. His parents whisked him off to Switzerland to the boarding school he'd been attending.
Today the longest reigning monarch in the world, the king, lies very sick and hasn't been heard from in quite some time.
At the age of 30 the king gave his blessing to a coup, the first of many many coups uncounted. There was a coup within the first week I spent in Thailand. Most coups are by the military or at a minimum backed by the military, all governments serve at the pleasure of the king. Now they vote before having coups.
Thailand has two very striking similarities to the US, a very high murder rate and a very high wealth gap, I'm not sure that the two things aren't somehow connected.
Soon there will be a succession. The son is not so adored as his father. Bear in mind these folks are kings like we used to have in England many centuries ago. Everyone, approaches them on their knees. The vocabulary for addressing them is different than regular spoken Thai. They are looked upon the way one might look upon a god come down to earth.
Besides the long history of coups Thailand also has a long history of shooting protesters. For now the pressure cooker that is Thai society hasn't blown up. The transition fairly soon to a new king might be interesting. Things badly begun sometimes end the same way.