The Royal convoy carrying the body of the late King of Thailand His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej left earlier today from the Sriraj Hospital in Bangkok to the Royal Palace in the capital’s centre. Millions of Thais, dressed in black, lined the streets and followed the cortege, bringing their homages and prayers to their beloved monarch. Among soldiers, sailors, police and officials, local Thais knelt in tears in front of the convoy, holding pictures of the King and silently praying for him.
The convoy, flanked by police on motorcycles, passed through the streets of Bangkok in absolute silence, with mourners flocking behing and following the cortege to the grand palace. Among the convoy was a van in which rode the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Once the convoy arrived at the royal residence, he presided over the funeral ceremonies inside the palace, the bathing of the king’s body – a traditional Thai Buddhist funeral rite – and sat near the Buddhist monks as they chanted.
For the next days, the body of the King will be placed in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where people will be able to pay their respects. So far, there was no date established for the cremation.
Thailand has entered an official period of mourning, in which the people are to avoid, in the words of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha any public festivities, and the state officials are expected to wear only mourning clothes, coloured black, for the next year.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was extremely loved by his people, who praised his figure as a father of the country and a balancing force in Thai society.
At the time of his death he was the oldest reigning monarch in the world and his passing has left a deep wound in the soul of Thailand.