King shifts guards to make space for birthday bash

His Majesty the King has ordered royal guards to reposition themselves during his birthday address to allow his well-wishers more space and a better view.

  • Published: 3/12/2012 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

The Cavalry of the Royal Guard rehearses the Trooping the Colour march at the Royal Plaza yesterday. The paradewill take place onthe King’s birthday on Wednesday,when His Majesty will appearonthe balcony of the Ananta SamakhomThrone Hall before a huge crowd of wellwishers. PATIPAT JANTHONG

The King will appear before a grand audience on Wednesday, his 85th birthday.

His Majesty has called for royal guards from 12 battalions to line up in formation inside the grounds of the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall instead of in the Royal Plaza where well-wishers will gather, the Royal Household Bureau said yesterday.

Initially, the armed forces planned to hold an oath of allegiance ceremony before His Majesty in the Royal Plaza to mark the King's birthday.

However, His Majesty has instructed 2,126 royal guards comprising the three armed forces to hold the ceremony inside the Throne Hall compound instead. This will lessen the distance between him and his subjects, Maj Gen Wara Boonyasit, the commander of the 1st Division, King's Guards, said.

"His Majesty wants more space to be given to the hundreds of thousands of well-wishers expected to turn up there," he said, adding that the King also wants his well-wishers to be as near to him as possible.

Only a battalion from the 29th Cavalry Squadron, King's Guards, will line up outside the hall, Maj Gen Wara said.

"For the royal guards who will line up in the front yard of [the Throne Hall] during the ceremony, they will have a better opportunity to stay close to His Majesty," he said. At 10am on Wednesday, the King will depart Siriraj Hospital. He will appear at the balcony of the Throne Hall at 10.30am to make his address. The event will be broadcast live on national television and will last about one hour.

Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are expected to greet the King on the road as he makes his way to the Throne Hall. Many of the roads have been decorated with national and royal flags.

The second and last full dress rehearsal was held yesterday morning.

At 7am, royal guards in full uniform lined up at the Throne Hall to rehearse their oath of allegiance ceremony as suggested by His Majesty.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and leaders of the armed forces arrived at the venue at 9.30am for the rehearsal.

Ms Yingluck will lead government officials and members of the public during a speech to wish His Majesty a happy birthday and good health.

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Writer: Wassana Nanuam
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