The Duke of York has arrived in Thailand for the cremation of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October 2016.
Prince Andrew was greeted at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday morning by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Prajin Juntong.
The cremation, which will take place on Thursday, is being attended by royals and dignitaries from across the world.
It was confirmed earlier this month that Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium would attend the cremation ceremony on 26 October. It has since been confirmed by the Royal House of the Netherlands that Her Majesty Queen Máxima will attend; the Royal Court of Norway also confirmed the attendance of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon. The King and Queen of Bhutan are also expected.
The Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg and Casa Real of Spain confirmed today that the Hereditary Grand Duke and Queen Sofía, respectively, would be in attendance.
No one from the Serbian Royal Family will be able to attend; however, Crown Prince Alexander released a statement to Royal Central about the late monarch:
“I met His Late Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand only once, and that was decades ago at the wedding of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie in Athens in 1964. Since then I have not had any contact with His Majesty. I was the only member of my family to ever meet His Late Majesty.
My family joins me in extending our condolences to the Thai Royal Family.”
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand died on 13 October 2016 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 month’s ceremony.
The 88-year-old was the world’s longest reigning monarch before his death. He took the throne on 9 June 1946 after the murder of his brother, King Ananda Mahidol.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on 5 December 1927 at Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusettes, USA. His father was studying at Harvard University at the time of his birth. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the only monarch to be born in the United States. He married Queen Sirikit in 1950, and they had four children together: Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak.