Royal ritual melts hearts of a nation
King Rama X pays homage to ancestors
His Majesty the King, in full regalia, sat on the royal palanquin Budtan Thong as he was carried for a customary procession around the Grand Palace to pay homage at several historically significant temples as a part of the King's coronation ceremony.
Tens of thousands of people, clad in yellow and holding portraits of the King, lined the seven-kilometre route which cuts through the heart of the capital to pay their respects to His Majesty the King.
The ceremonial procession, known as liap phranakhon, is a part of the King's coronation ceremony -- which began on Saturday and will wrap up later in the evening today. The rite, which was broadcast live, followed a morning ceremony wherein the King bestowed new titles to his parents and other close members of the royal family.
Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha -- decked in full military fatigue -- followed the entire procession, along with other family members. Accompanied by fanfares performed by marching bands, they carried with them tiered umbrellas, along with the royal standard of Thailand. While His Majesty the King took part in the ceremonial procession -- which took four hours to complete -- the rest of the royal family waited at a pavilion set up on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
The procession began at Abhorn Bimok Pavilion on the grounds of the Grand Palace, before proceeding along Ratchadamnoen Avenue towards Bang Lamphu and Wat Bowon Niwet, where half of the ashes of King Bhumibol Adulyadej were interred. There, His Majesty also paid his respects to the relics of the late Supreme Patriach Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara.
The procession then moved towards Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue and Atsadang Road to Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram, where the King paid homage to the statue of King Rama V, and paid his respects to the ashes of King Rama VII, Queen Rambhai Barni, and the rest of King Bhumibol's ashes. His Majesty also paid his respect to the relics of Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatanana, the 18th Supreme Patriarch.
From Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram the royal column proceeded to Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram, where he paid his respects to King Rama I.
From Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram, the procession moved to Tai Wang Road, then to Maha Rat Road and Na Phra Lan Road, before returning to Abhorn Bimok Pavilion. At each temple, His Majesty the King paid his respects to the principal Buddha statues and were blessed by the monks.
The procession was last seen in December 1963 to celebrate the 36th birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His Majesty the King is scheduled to greet people from the balcony of Sutthaisawan Prasat Throne Hall later today. As per the King's command, the royal barge procession to celebrate the coronation will be held in October.