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king bhumibol of thailand


Thailand has begun the ceremony for the royal cremation for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died one year ago.

Hundreds of thousands of Thais have lined the streets of Bangkok to pay their last respects to the late king.

A symbolic funeral urn was taken by chariot to the cremation site, in a procession marked by drums, flute music and an artillery salute, as the main part of a five-day funeral ceremony.

Many buildings are draped in yellow marigolds, while crowds of mourners are dressed in black as a mark of respect.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej died in October 2016 at the age of 88.

The funeral officially started on October 25 with a merit-making ceremony, a Buddhist rite, in the Grand Palace.

Image source Flickr

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On October 26, a series of Buddhist rites began in the royal palace ahead of the procession.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be cremated later in a royal pyre to be lit by his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The chariot carrying the urn in the second part of the funeral procession has been used since the late 18th Century. Weighing just under 14 tonnes, it was pulled by more than 200 soldiers.

The urn was then carried for several rounds around the cremation site, for the last leg of the procession.

The elaborate ceremony is estimated to have drawn as many as 250,000 people from across Thailand.

Many of the mourners arrived in Bangkok days ago, and waited in the streets overnight for the procession, clutching portraits of King Bhumibol.


King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has died at the age of 88.

King Bhumibol was widely revered but had been in poor health in recent years, making few public appearances.

After 70 years as head of state, the king was seen as a stabilizing figure in a country hit by cycles of political turmoil and multiple coups.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will be the new monarch, the prime minister has said.King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

After two days of speculation and rumors surrounding King Bhumibol’s deteriorating health, the palace announcement confirming the monarch’s death finally came early on Thursday evening, October 13.

“His majesty has passed away at Siriraj Hospital peacefully,” a statement said, adding he had died at 15:52 local time.

In a TV address to the nation, PM Prayut Chan-ocha said Thailand would hold a one-year mourning period, that flags would fly half-mast and all entertainment functions must be “toned down” for a month.

In a later statement the prime minister urged vigilance, saying national security was a top priority.

“Everyone will need to be alert in every region and throughout the country to ensure safety,” he said.

King Bhumibol’s death comes as Thailand remains under military rule following a coup in 2014.

A palace official, speaking to crowds outside the hospital, said the king’s body would be moved to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok on October 14.

The king was widely respected across Thailand, and thought of by many as semi-divine.

Hundreds of mourners gathered outside the Bangkok hospital where he died, stricken with grief at the news.

Many held pictures of King Bhumibol and wore yellow or pink clothing in his honor.

Although the prime minister said Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn would become the new monarch, he added that the official proclamation would be made at a later date.

PM Prayut Chan-ocha said the crown prince had confirmed that he would perform his duty as heir to the throne, but had asked for time to mourn his father’s death.

The 64-year-old crown prince is much less well known to Thais and has not attained his father’s widespread popularity. He spends much of his time overseas, especially in Germany.

King Bhumibol, who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, acceded to the throne on June 9, 1946 after his brother, King Ananda Mahidol, died.

Though a constitutional monarch with limited official powers, many Thais looked to King Bhumibol to him to intervene in times of high tension. He was seen as a unifying and calming influence through numerous coups and 20 constitutions.

However, the king’s critics argued he had endorsed military takeovers and at times had failed to speak out against human rights abuses.

Following the death of King Bhumibol, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has become the world longest-reigning monarch, having been on the throne for 64 years.


King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has undergone heart surgery, the Thai Royal Household Bureau announced.

The 88-year-old king, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has had a lengthy spell in hospital in Bangkok and has not been seen in public for months.

King Bhumibol is widely revered and seen as an arbiter in the country’s divided political arena.

Thailand is preparing to celebrate 70 years of his reign on June 8.King Bhumibol hydrocephalus

The king was treated for narrowing of the arteries with “satisfactory results”, the palace said in a statement.

Doctors performed a procedure known as balloon surgery to widen the arteries on June 7 after tests had shown insufficient blood in the heart muscles, the statement said.

In the past month, King Bhumibol has also been treated for a buildup of fluid surrounding the brain and a swollen lung.

An X-ray on June 4 showed less fluid around the brain, the statement said.

King Bhumibol’s health is closely watched in Thailand as he is seen as a unifying symbol and pillar of stability in a society that has suffered increased political divisions and violence.


Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has been joined by thousands of cyclists in a ride through Bangkok in honor of his mother, Queen Sirikit.

Wearing shirts in the queen’s color – sky-blue – and emblazoned with “Bike for Mom”, the cyclists paraded through streets closed to traffic.

Many Thais outside Bagkok were expected to do the same.

Queen Sirikit – who turned 83 four days ago – is in very frail health, like King Bhumibol, and will not be seen.

Commentators say the 27-mile cycle is the first event to be publicly led by Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is 63.

About 300,000 people registered to join the ride.

Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was followed by other well-known figures including PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and his cabinet.Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand Leads Bangkok Bike Ride

Cycling in Thailand has taken off as a hobby in recent years, and on Sunday the heir to the throne tapped into that craze.

The prime minister said he hoped it would unite a country which is still divided over last year’s military coup.

It is the rare appearance at such a high-profile public event by Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn which will be noted by royal-watchers.

Many Thais are anxious about what happens after the death of 86-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, whose health is very frail.

King Bhumibol is widely revered, but observers say the heir apparent does not command similar affection.

This event is a chance to improve his public image and promote national unity.

Organizers of the cycle ride are also attempting to set a new world record for the greatest number of people cycling at once.

The record is currently held by Taiwan, with 72,919.


King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has been treated for hydrocephalus and is now recovering, say Thai authorities.

Hydrocephalus is a condition consisting in an excessive build-up of fluid on the brain.

King Bhumibol, 87, who has been in hospital since May 31, also had a lung inflammation which has since subsided.King Bhumibol hydrocephalus

The king has had frequent bouts of ill health in recent years.

He is seen as a pillar of stability in Thailand which saw political strife culminating in last year’s coup.

Though the king has no formal political role, he is seen by Thais as a symbol of unity, having ruled since 1946, and his health is closely watched.

In October 2014, King Bhumibol had his gallbladder removed.

The monarch was in Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital for seven months, and was discharged in May this year, only to return to the hospital a few weeks later for medical tests.