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Farewell to a princess

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Their Majesties the King and Queen yesterday joined thousands of mourners from all over the country and a worldwide television audience in bidding farewell to Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda. 

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His Majesty the King sets ablaze a sandalwood flower before laying it under the royal urn housing the remains of Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda. PALACE PHOTO

Language learners and teachers: Notice that much of the information is the same as yesterday's story except the time has changed from before the cremation ceremony to after it. Look to see how the verb forms change as a result. You can find yesterday's story here: http://bit.ly/IwodBX

Click button to listen to Royal cremation and rightclick to download

Thousands pay last respects to beloved royal

King, Queen lead cremation ceremony

Usnisa Sukhsvasti

Their Majesties the King and Queen yesterday joined thousands of mourners from all over the country and a worldwide television audience in bidding farewell to Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda.

The late princess, who passed away at the age of 85 on July 27, 2011, was cremated at Sanam Luang after a day of ceremony including three processions joined by HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

The royal golden urn atop the golden palanquin as the procession leaves the Dusit Maha Prasat Hall. PALACE PHOTO

The day began at 7am with the first procession, which carried the royal urn from Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall to the front of Wat Phra Chetupon, or Wat Pho, atop the royal golden palanquin. There, the urn was transferred to the royal chariot.

The golden urn is transferred to the royal chariot. APICHART JINAKUL

In the second procession, the chariot carried the urn to Sanam Luang along Sanam Chai Road.

The chariot procession carrying the golden urn of Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda heads to the phra meru, or the royal pyre, in Sanam Luang prior to the royal cremation ceremony yesterday. APICHART JINAKUL

Finally, the urn was returned to the golden palanquin at Sanam Luang for the third and final procession – three 260m laps of the phra meru, or royal funeral pyre.

At the moment the urn was installed in the pyre, heavy rainfall descended on the streets which had stayed dry throughout the processions.

The symbolic royal cremation took place later at 4.30pm following the arrival of Their Majesties the King and Queen. It was attended by members of the royal family, the diplomatic corps, courtiers and high-ranking members of the government and the armed forces.

Mourners line up in front of the royal pyre at Sanam Luang to lay sandalwood flowers to bid their final farewell to the late Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda. PALACE PHOTO

Fifty senior monks conducted prayers in the Song Dhamma Pavilion, west of the phra meru.

Their Majesties the King and Queen then ascended the phra meru to preside over the symbolic royal cremation against the sound of a 21-gun salute.

They placed sandalwood flowers under the royal urn, which was installed on a stand decorated with flowers and intricately carved kluay tanee banana tree stalks by master craftsmen from Phetchaburi province.

The royal cremation proper took place at 10pm, again presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen.

Bangkok Post photographer Pattanapong Hirunard captures some of the unforgettable colour of the event.

The grand spectacle of the cremation ceremony was eight months in the making under the responsibility of the Fine Arts Department and Religious Affairs Department with a budget of 218.1 million baht.

The farewell to Princess Bejaratana followed in the proud tradition of past royal funerals.

The magnificent royal chariot which carried the urn from Wat Pho to Sanam Luang was built in 1795 during the reign of King Rama I. It has transported the royal urns of five Chakri kings (from King Rama I to King Rama V) as well as high-ranking members of the royal family, most recently HRH The Princess Mother in 1996 and HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana in 2009.

The beautifully crafted phra meru, which stands 35.59m tall, took three months to build and symbolises Phra Sumeru mountain, the abode of the gods in Hindu belief.

At 8am today, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will preside over the ceremony to collect the royal relics and ashes, which will then be returned to the Grand Palace for merit-making ceremonies.

Tomorrow, the royal relics will be placed in the Royal Mausoleum at Wat Ratchabophit.

The phra meru will be opened for public viewing from tomorrow until next Tuesday.

You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/HtxP5K

set ablaze – to set on fire วางเพลิง
remains – the body of a person who has died ศพ
urn – a container for the body/ashes of a dead person พระโกศ
pay respects – to show deep admiration for someone แสดงความเคารพ
beloved – loved very much by somebody; very popular with somebody  เป็นที่รัก, ที่รักมาก
cremation – the burning of a dead body การเผาศพ (งานพระราชทานเพลิงพระศพ)
mourner –  someone who is at a funeral, especially a relative or close friend of the dead person ผู้ไว้ทุกข์,ผู้ไว้อาลัย,ผู้โศกเศร้า
bid farewell – to say goodbye ล่ำลา, กล่าวลา, ลาจาก
late – dead ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว
pass away – to die จากไป
procession – a line of people or vehicles moving in a slow and formal way as part of an event ขบวน
palanquin – a covered seat carried on poles held parallel to the ground on the shoulders of people, used in Thai royal funerals เสลี่ยง, พระเสลี่ยง
Dusit Maha Prasart Hall – built by Rama I in 1790, it is where the remains of members of the Royal Family are kept prior to their funeral พระที่นั่งดุสิตมหา
transfer – to move someone or something from one place, vehicle, person or group to another ย้าย
chariot – a wheeled vehicle and no roof that was pulled by horses in races and battles in ancient times; in this case, a royal funeral vehicle carrying the royal urn and pulled to the cremation site  ราชรถ, พระมหาพิชัยราชรถ
funeral – of a ceremony that takes place after someone dies, usually including a religious ceremony, in this case, a royal funeral งานศพ งานพระราชพิธีพระราชทานเพลิงพระศพ
pyre – (in Thailand) a temporary wooden structure for use during a cremation ceremony, especially for a member of the royal family; a pile of wood used for burning a dead body during a funeral ceremony โครงไม้ที่ใช้สร้างพลับพลาพระราชทานเพลิงพระศพ, พระเมรุ
descend – to go down ลงมา
symbolic – representing something important, but in this case, not the real thing เป็นสัญญาณ เป็นสัญลักษณ์
diplomatic corps – all the diplomats who work in a particular city or country คณะทูตานุทูต
courtiers – people who have official positions at the place where a king or queen or other members of the royal family live  ธารกำนัล ข้าหลวง ข้ารับใช้
high-ranking – senior; important ที่อยู่ชั้นสูง
armed forces – a country's army, navy and air force  กองทัพทุกเหล่าทัพ
pavilion – a building with open sides, usually at a temple, used for sermons or a resting place for the public ศาลา
ascend  - to go up ขึ้นไป (เสด็จพระราชดำเนินขึ้นสู่)
preside – to be in charge of a ceremony, official meeting, or other event (ทรง) เป็นประธานในพิธี
salute – a formal signal make to show respect to someone, in this case, the firing of 21 guns ยิงสลุต
decorate – to make something look more attractive by putting nice things on it or in it ประดับ, ตกแต่ง
intricate – having a lot of different parts and small details that fit together อย่างประณีต
carved – cut from wood or stone แกะสลัก
stalk – a long thin part of a plant with a flower, fruit, or leaf at the end ลำต้น
craftsmen – people who make beautiful or practical objects using their hands ช่างฝีมือ
proper – actual or real จริง (พระราชพิธีพระราชทานเพลิงพระศพจริง)
spectacle – an exciting and impressive public event or performance; an unusual, exciting, or impressive event or sight
responsibility – a duty ความรับผิดชอบ
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
tradition – a very old custom, belief, or story ประเพณี, ขนบธรรมเนียม
reign – a period of time during when a king or queen rules a country  ช่วงเวลาครองราชย์
transport – to move from one place to another  บรรทุก
crafted – done with great skill ประดิษฐ์โดยใช้ฝีมือ
abode – the place where someone lives ที่พัก, ที่อยู่อาศัย
relics
– the bones of someone who has been cremated อัฐิ  
ashes
– the  powder that are left after a dead person's body has been cremated เถ้ากระดูก
mausoleum
– a special building made to hold the dead body of an important person or the dead bodies of a family  อนุสาวรีย์บรรจุศพ

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