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Thai crown prince will ascend throne on Dec. 1

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn returned to Bangkok on Friday, just weeks before he is due to ascend the throne, four senior military sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Fresh questions about the succession arose when the prince flew to Germany last month to attend to personal business.

Thailand is making preparations for the prince to ascend the throne on Dec. 1, though a formal coronation will be at least one year from now.

The country has been without a monarch since revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on Oct. 13 and has been ruled by regent Prem Tinsulanonda, the 96-year-old former head of the royal advisory council.

“His Highness has arrived back in Thailand from Germany and will attend an event this evening at the 1st Infantry Regiment, King’s Own Guards. This is confirmed,” said a senior military source who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.