King's royal procession feted by well-wishers

King's royal procession feted by well-wishers

His Majesty the King is carried on a palanquin from the Grand Palace to start the royal procession on Sunday, the first chance for the public to pay homage to him since he was crowned on Saturday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
His Majesty the King is carried on a palanquin from the Grand Palace to start the royal procession on Sunday, the first chance for the public to pay homage to him since he was crowned on Saturday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

His Majesty the King commanded the world's attention as his royal procession offered the first chance for all Thais to pay him homage since he was crowned on Saturday.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun sat astride the Pudtan Thong throne, a golden palanquin, as the procession started at 5pm at the Grand Palace.

His Majesty first visited Wat Bowonniwet Vihara and was to proceed to Wat Rajabopit and Wat Prachetuphon to complete the ceremony held as part of his coronation.

Wat Bowonniwet is the temple where the King entered the monkhood from Nov 6-11, 1978. Wat Rajabopit is the temple of the Supreme Patriarch and Wat Prachetuphon, better known as Wat Pho, is the temple of King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty. Wat Bowonniwet and Wat Rajabopit store the royal relics of late King Bhumibol.

A sea of people donned in yellow -- the colour of His Majesty -- lined the roads eager to see the new King with their own eyes.

The procession, a triumph of traditional, golden splendour, was the King's first public appearance since he completed an elaborate set of coronation rituals on Saturday. He granted an audience for royal family members and dignitaries in the Grand Palace after he officially rising to the kingdom's throne.

"Love live the King. Long live the King," well-wishers chanted, waving yellow flags as they watched the procession with His Majesty arrayed in gold on the palanquin.

Her Majesty the Queen was walking in a red uniform to the left of the palanquin and Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha to the right.

The King's parade was the first royal procession since that of King Bhumibol on the occasion of the third circle of his birth, 36 years, on Dec 7, 1963.

The palanquin was carried by 16 soldiers from a unit of His Majesty's royal guards -- and every piece of music played during the event was composed by King Bhumibol.

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