Thai king officially crowned Rama X in traditional coronation ceremony

06 May, 2019, 05:00 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Timeline of royal family

Their Majesties King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida watch the proceedings during the coronation ceremonies at the Grand Palace, Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Bangkok, Thailand.

The ceremony, held at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, was mostly water-based and began with the ritual of ablution, known as Song Muratha Bhisek or royal purification, where the king was blessed with holy water taken from five rivers and four ponds in Thailand.

During the hours-long procession Thais will have the opportunity to "pay homage" to the king who will also stop at several major temples to pray before large gilded Buddha images.

Tens of thousands of well-wishers brandishing both Thai and royal flags and wearing yellow - a color associated with the monarch - lined the route for the rare spectacle.

King Vajiralongkorn, 66, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016 after 70 years on the throne.

For many Thais, the procession is a chance to see the king in a country where the wealthy monarchy is the focus of reverence and veneration.

The king of Thailand has turned the deputy head of his personal security detail into a queen by marrying her.

Conch shell horns heralded the parade, which was accompanied by two horseback cavalry soldiers, a military marching band and royal guards in a mixture of ancient Thai and modern Western-style uniforms.

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The new king, who is now Rama X, the 10th king of the Chakri dynasty, was educated in Britain and Australia.

The king announced just days ahead of the coronation that he had married Suthida and made her queen. His 86-year-old mother, known as Queen Sirikit, was granted a new official title of Queen Mother.

"I shall reign in righteousness for the benefits of the kingdom and the people forever", the king said in his first royal command, while sitting under a nine-tiered umbrella in full royal regalia including a gold-enameled, diamond-tipped crown. Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who seized power in a 2014 coup, took part in numerous key rituals, including the procession. "I invite everyone here and all Thai people to share my determination and work together, each according to his status and duty, with the nation's prosperity and the people's happiness as the ultimate goals", he said.

The teenager is the king's son from his third marriage.

The waters used in both rituals were collected from 117 sources last month and blessed by Buddhist monks and Brahmin priests in temples around the country before they were combined and consecrated. But the dazzling display of the primacy of the monarchy in Thai life belies a simmering political crisis held over from elections in March.

It was also during King Mongkut's coronation that foreigners were invited to witness coronation ceremonies for the first time, scholars said. Thailand's army plays a major role in the country's politics and the country is now ruled by a military junta since a 2014 coup.

The junta that seized power in 2014 and has vowed to defend the monarchy is aiming to return to power through the ballot box.



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