Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn formally crowned as divine monarch

Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn formally crowned as divine monarch

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has launched the second day of coronation activities with a ceremony to grant new titles to members of the royal family.

An elaborate three-day coronation ceremony in under way in Thailand, sealing the accession of King Vajiralongkorn to the throne.

His Majesty the King is carried on a palanquin from the Grand Palace to start the royal procession on Sunday, the first chance for the public to pay homage to him since he was crowned on Saturday.

Crowds of well-wishers clad in yellow, a color associated with the monarch, lined the procession route in a spectacle not seen for almost seven decades.

Also known as King Rama X, the 10th king of the Chakri dynasty, Vajiralongkorn had been serving as king since the October 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was on the throne for seven decades.

Just days before his official coronation, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Wednesday married the deputy head of his personal guard force and gave her the title Queen Suthida.

The king appeared dressed in white as he underwent a royal purification ritual, sitting under a canopied fountain that poured consecrated waters over his head.

"I shall reign in righteousness for the benefits of the kingdom and the people forever", said the king in his first royal command after receiving the 7.3 kg gold-enamelled and diamond Great Crown of Victory.

But a comparison with his late father shows stark differences between the two rulers - with Maha Vajiralongkorn, as he was known before his official ascension, well known for his playboy lifestyle, string of ex-wives and penchant for bestowing military titles on his pets.

More news: Kentucky Derby 2019: Weather forecast, rain projections for Churchill Downs

The King's parade was the first royal procession since that of King Bhumibol on the occasion of the third circle of his birth, 36 years, on Dec 7, 1963. Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who seized power in a 2014 coup, took part in numerous key rituals, including the procession.

"I will carry on, preserve and extend, and forever reign with righteousness for the benefit of the people", the king said with his first royal command, similar to the oath his late father king Bhumibol Adulyadej gave nearly seven decades ago.

Thai kings' coronation rituals are a mixture of Buddhist and Hindu Brahmin traditions dating back centuries. The king's carriage was also surrounded by soldiers carrying swords and others playing music.

The coronation comes at a confused time in Thai politics. Military junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, the speaker of the army-appointed parliament and the chairman of the Supreme Court - representing the three branches of government - also spoke to express "gratitude" to the king.

On Saturday, he received his crown from the chief Brahmin, a Hindu priest who played a guiding role in the mixed Buddhist-Hindu ceremony, which was televised live across the nation on all channels.

It was also during King Mongkut's coronation that foreigners were invited to witness coronation ceremonies for the first time, scholars said.

When the election took place in March, its results were uncertain.

Hours before polls opened, another palace statement urged the public to vote for "good people" - a phrase most often attached to the arch-royalist political elite.

Related Articles