Public Audience :


The tradition for the newly-crowned King to grant an audience with royal members, state officials and foreign dignitaries after the crowning and investiture ceremony started in the reign of King Rama IV, who made quite a few modifications to the royal coronation ceremony.

According to the book on the royal coronation ceremony published by the Fine Arts Department on the occasion of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday anniversary in 1987, at the end of the crowning ceremony King Rama IV had a change of costume before proceeding to sit on the throne under the royal nine-tiered white umbrella.

Among the audience were members of the royal family, senior civil servants, military officers as well as foreign dignitaries. Thousands of soldiers in full uniform lined the streets outside the Grand Palace in observance.

After that, the senior officials ritualistically presented all the assets in the kingdom, be they the armies, the palaces, the state treasury, and all the grains and food, to the King.

The King in return pledged to care for all those things and to cherish Buddhism. He then gifted all the attending senior officials with a red pouch containing some money and keepsakes before proceeding to the Assumption of the Residence ceremony.

Several receptions were also held for the officials and guests during the ceremonies.

As for the grand public audience, it appears that King Prajadhipok or Rama VII was the first to appear on the balcony of the Chakri Maha Prasad Throne Hall to allow the public to share in the joy of the ceremony and for the monarch to acknowledge felicitations from the well-wishers after his coronation on February 27, 1925.

According to the royal coronation programme, King Rama X will grant a grand public audience by appearing on the balcony of Suthaisawan Prasat Throne Hall on May 6. It will be one of a few rare chances for members of the public to be a part of the regal ceremonies. After that, the King will grant another audience with members of the diplomatic corps at the Chakri Maha Prasad Throne Hall.

(Sources & photos: The Royal Coronation Ceremony, Ministry of Culture)