Time magazine cover

A monarchy fights for freedom

During the 1950s and 1960s, Thailand was transformed forever by a massive influx of American money and military manpower, as the United States battled the spread of communism in Indochina. Thailand’s monarchy was regarded by the Americans as playing an absolutely crucial role in this struggle.

On May 27, 1966, Time magazine’s cover story focused on King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, under the banner “A MONARCHY FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM”. The tone was reverential and adulatory, very different from the slightly sarcastic depiction of Bhumibol the last time he had been featured in a Time cover story, on April 3, 1950 (you can read that story here and it’s also available as a PDF).

The 1966 cover story is reproduced in full below, and it too is also available as a PDF.