The Thai monarchy is usually presented as the guardian of tradition and the institution to bring modernity and progress to the Thai people, and it is seen as protector of the nation. Scrutinizing that image, this volume reviews the fascinating history of the modern monarchy. It also analyses cultural, historical, political, religious, and legal forces shaping the popular image of the monarchy and, in particular, of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thus, the book offers valuable insights into the relationships between monarchy, religion and democracy in Thailand - topics that, after the September 2006 coup d'etat, gained renewed national and international interest. Addressing such contentious issues as Thai-style democracy, lese majeste legislation, religious symbolism and politics, monarchical traditions, and the royal sufficiency economy, the book will be of interest to a broad spectrum of academics, journalists and other interested readers outside academia.