I've been doing some reading, and it seems that the succession to the throne of Thailand is rather... interesting. The crown prince, Wachiralongkon, is a rather unsavoury character, a rather dissolute old man (he's 60) with a penchant for mistresses, fast cars, expensive teas, and failed marriage. He's also said to have been fairly close to deposed prime minister Thaksin, whose "red-shirt" faction currently seems ascendant with his sister, Yingluck, the prime minister; but they and Wachiralongkon had a falling out some years ago.
Wachiralongkon is on his third marriage, and his earlier issue (including four sons) have been subject to a virtual damnatio memorae
, living in exile with their rights to the succession being removed. Much of the loyalty to the crown is personal, belonging to King Phumiphon Adunyadet due to his charitable efforts, longevity, personal travails, intervening to preserve democracy, etc. Wachiralongkon would not command that kind of respect.
On other hand, his sister, Sirinthon, is deeply revered by many Thais, much in the manner of her father, and is thoroughly uncontroversial, and is said to have links to the conservative military and commercial establishments that generally fall in line with the hardline royalist "yellow-shirts".
Now, in Thailand, the Privy Council has the responsibility of declaring the new monarch when the current monarch has died, although this has usually been a formality. Several members of the privy council have expressed their distaste for the crown prince
in private, and thanks to wikileaks, we know of that. The rest of the council comes from the same sort of conservative background.
What's to say that if the king were to die in the near future (he's fairly sickly), the Privy Council wouldn't proclaim Sirinthon Queen, passing over Wachiralongkon? There certainly have been rumours to that effect. Now, what if in such a scenario, Wachiralongkon were to contest the proclamation and deem himself the rightful king? In such a case things would in all likelihood rapidly become political, with the yellow-shirts and the royalist forces siding with the Sirinthon and the Privy Council, while Thaksin faction and the redshirts siding with Wachiralongkon in response, with the two mending their wounds, and Prime Minister Yingluck siding with the Wachiralongkon camp as well?
What would happen? A coup certainly seems in order, but might this degenerate into a conflict- a presumable "War of the Thai Succession"?