Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has finally been crowned – over two years after ascending the throne upon the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Rama IX). The coronation was aired live on all Thai channels in both English and Thai.
The 66-year-old monarch, who is also called King Rama X, took part in the Royal Purification this morning at 10.09 at the Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence. The ceremony is also commonly called the “Song Muratha Bhisek” and refers to the pouring of holy water over the King’s head.
Incense, gold ornaments and yellow flowers were on display as the King was in a white robe with gold trim with men in military uniforms surrounding him. Water, that was collected from Thailand’s 76 provinces, was also poured over his back and hands as canons were fired in the background. Eight men in uniform poured the water over His Majesty; they represented the eight directions on a compass.
Next, the Anointment Ceremony took place in the Baisal Daksin Throne Hall after which His Majesty sat on the Bhadrapitha Throne under Royal Nine-tiered Umbrella. The Chief Brahmin then presented him with the Royal Golden Plaque of His Majesty’s official title, the Ancient and Auspicious Orders, the Royal Regalia, and the Weapons of Sovereignty.
The King’s daughters, Princesses Bajrakitiyabha and Sirivannavari Nariratana; his son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti; and His Majesty’s sisters, Princesses Sirindhorn, Ubolratana, and Chulabhorn were in attendance, as was Queen Suthida.
Proving they are just like us, at one point, Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana pulled out her smartphone to take a photo of her father during the ceremony.
His Majesty then issued his first royal command while seated on the throne below the umbrella. Only the King can sit under the nine-tiered umbrella which represents his connection to heaven.
The Queen was also appointed as his consort in the ceremony by the King and was given the Order of the Royal House of Chakri. Afterwards, the King sprinkled gold and silver flowers around his family as he left the room to bless the family and ceremony.
Later today, the King will take part in the ceremony of Assumption of the Royal Residence at 1.19 pm in the Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence – meaning the King will officially take up his royal residence.
A little less than an hour later, King Rama X will grant an audience to members of the Thai Royal Family, Thai Cabinet, the Privy Council, and other senior officials. The audience, at Amarindra Vinicchaya Throne Hall, will provide an opportunity for them to wish His Majesty the best in his reign and life.
At 4 pm, the King will proclaim himself Thailand’s Royal Patron of Buddhism at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Coronation events will continue on Sunday and Monday; 6 May has been declared a public holiday so the Thai people can celebrate their new monarch.
Details regarding where to watch the coronation ceremonies can be found here.