Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana will take part in the final procession of the funeral service for her late grandfather King Rama IX, or King Bhumibol Adulyadej, on Sunday.
“Everybody served with the best of their heart,” said Thara Chalad, commanding officer of the 29th Calvary Battalion, King’s Guard, in an interview with the Bangkok Post.
“But this time, we are prouder as it is the first time a member of the royal family has joined in this unit’s important mission.”
The late King’s elaborate cremation service was broken down into several ceremonies and processions over the past week and will end on Sunday when the Guard transports his ashes to Wat Rajabopit Sathi Maha Simaram and Wat Bowonniwet Vihara.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej served as a monk for 15 days at the Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple; as did the current monarch, King Vajiralongkorn.
The Royal Stable Unit Chief, Col Vithai Laithomya, says that Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana has been involved in rehearsals and planning for the procession at every step.
“Her Royal Highness wants to set a good example for the soldiers,” he said, noting that she takes care of her horse and equipment herself, not letting someone else attend to it.
“Her Royal Highness personally checks on everything, including the rehearsal and all 77 participants taking part in the procession… If a horseshoe did not fit, Her Royal Highness could hear when the horse walked, and she would tell the soldiers to fix it.”
The Princess would check on the soldiers during rehearsals, making sure that they were properly holding their lances or swords, and offered moral support and horse care tips when they weren’t rehearsing.
Col Vithai said that Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana’s leadership and horsemanship increased the Battalion’s potential.
The late King’s cremation ceremony officially ends tomorrow, and Thai officials have declared that the mourning period will end as well.