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King Vajiralongkorn advises against strict regulations on viewing of cremation

His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has advised the government against enacting and enforcing too strict of regulations regarding the viewing of the cremation of his father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday.

On Sunday, government spokesman Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd explained that the King had told the authorities that they should not make restrictions so strict that the people are “uncomfortable,” reported Thai news Khaosod.

The government has recently been strengthening security measures around the event and limiting access to the public – another move the King has advised against. King Vajiralongkorn has asked the authorities to open up more space for mourners to watch the cremation service at the funerary grounds of Sanam Luang.

Chanthep Sesawech, a Bangkok police commander, explained to the publication that they have already been opening up more viewing areas and had not heard directly from His Majesty. The northern walls of the Grand Palace have been opened up from which the public can watch.

More rules have been issued which now include the banning of colourful umbrellas, eyeglasses and hand fans, selfie sticks and colourful phone cases. The public has also been advised not to chant “Long Live the King!” as the procession goes by in a country with strict rules regarding even speaking about the monarchy.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej died last October at the age of 88 after many years of ill health. He had just celebrated 70 years on the throne earlier that year.

Preparations for the cremation have been in the works for months. His funeral pyre was completed last month ahead of this week’s ceremony which will see royals from all over the globe in attendance. Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the King and Queen of Bhutan, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Queen Silvia of Sweden and the Duke of York are among the royal guests.

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