By Alexandru Baboş Albabos CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The clock of Riddarholm Church in Stockholm will ring for an hour next Thursday in honour of the late Thai King Bhumibol. He will be cremated on Thursday, over a year after he died.
The ringing of the bells is an ancient tradition, which is linked to the highest order of chivalry in Sweden, the Royal Order of the Seraphim. King Bhumibol received the order when he was crowned in 1950. Ever since then, his coat of arms has hung in the Royal Palace of Stockholm, before being moved to Riddarholm after his death. His wife, Queen Sirikit, his son, the current King Maha Vajiralongkorn and two of his daughters are also Knights of the Royal Order of the Seraphim. Riddarholm Church was the royal burial ground of the Swedish Royal Family until 1950.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) was born on 5 December 1927 as the son of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla, and his wife Mom Sangwan (later Princess Srinagarindra, the Princess Mother). He was born in the United States, as his father was studying at Harvard University. His father died of kidney failure in 1929. King Bhumibol succeeded his brother King Ananda Mahidol, on 9 June 1946, when he died of a gunshot wound. The new King was just 18-years-old. On 28 April 1950, he married Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, just one week before his coronation. They went on to have four children, three daughters and a son.
His health had been declining since 2006, and he died at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, on 13 October 2016, at 15:52 local time. He was 88-years-old, and he was succeeded by his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn. On 14 October, the body of the late King was moved to the Grand Palace as the public lined the route. On Thursday, Thailand will finally say goodbye to the late King with a lavish cremation estimated to cost around £70 million.