Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn crowned

The coronation of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn – Rama X officially kicked off at the Grand Palace on May 4, which observes the beginning of the 10th king of Thailand’s Chakri dynasty.

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn - Rama X (Photo: Washington Post)

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn - Rama X (Photo: Washington Post)

People in yellow gathered at areas around the palace in Bangkok to witness the historic coronation of the king, the first in Thailand in 69 years as the last to take place was that of King Bhumibol Adulyadej - Rama IX, on May 5, 1950. 

The rituals, spanning three days from May 4-6, dated back to the reign of King Rama I.

Speaking to correspondents of the Vietnam News Agency, Sirirut Rattanamongkolsak, an official at the Thai Government, said the day is a turning point for Thailand as the King officially comes to the throne. 

The coronation began on May 4, including a purification bathing rite in which the King will take a ceremonial bath with a shower of consecrated water, and the royal anointment ceremony in which the King is anointed with coronation water.

Water for the rites was collected from five major rivers of Thailand of Bang Pakong, Pasak, Chao Phraya, Ratchaburi, and Phetchaburi, along with four ancient ponds in Suphan Buri province, namely Sa Ket, Sa Kaeo, Sa Khongkha and Sa Yamuna.

The process to gather water for ablution of the king took place in 107 important locations of all 76 provinces of Thailand and the Grand Palace. The king will change into his full regal vestments and be seated on an octagonal throne made of fig wood before switching to a new throne.

Later on May 4, the Assumption of the Royal Residence ceremony will be held. This ritual marks the King taking up residence at the Grand Palace. 

May 5 is said to be the peak day of the coronation ceremonies as about 800,000 people will flock to areas around the Grand Palace and along a royal procession which measures 7 km in length, from the Grand Palace to Wat Bovoranives, Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Phra Chetuphon.

On May 6, the last day of the ceremonies, the King will have an audience with the public in the Grand Palace to receive wishes from the people and with members of the diplomatic corps. 

Preparations for the three-day coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn – Rama X were launched in months ago under the management of a commission led by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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