Thailand Crowns New King In $31 Million Celebration

Saul Bowman
Мая 7, 2019

His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn was shielded by an ochre umbrella, and other royal symbols were hoisted high around him.

People in yellow gathered at areas around the palace in Bangkok to witness the historic coronation of the king, the first in Thailand in 69 years as the last to take place was that of King Bhumibol Adulyadej - Rama IX, on May 5, 1950.

He began the day by receiving sacred water in a purification bath at a veranda in the Grand Palace.

The sounds of a gun salute echoed outside.

The crown was handed to Vajiralongkorn by the chief Brahmin, a Hindu priest, who has played a guiding part in Saturday's mixed Buddhist-Hindu ceremony. "I will continue to preserve, develop and rule the land with justice for the benefits of all Thai people", the newly-crowned Thai King declared, according to CNN.

But just three days prior to his coronation, he was joined by a new Queen Suthida after a surprise announcement that the King had married a fourth time.

"I'm excited to have a chance to be a part of this".

Suthida's first public engagement came Thursday when the couple kneeled to pay their respects to statues of previous Chakri dynasty monarchs in Bangkok's old quarter.

Hundreds of state officials in immaculate white uniforms lined the streets around the Grand Palace, outnumbering the modest number of civilians braving the hot sun for the royal convoy.

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The enigma of the new king is double-locked by one of the world's harshest royal defamation laws, which keep a tight lid on the dissemination of royal gossip and prevent public criticism inside the kingdom.

Vajiralongkorn spends a great deal of time in Germany and has been divorced three times.

Born on June 3, 1978, she graduated with a Communication Arts degree in 2000 from the Catholic-run Assumption University of Thailand.

Ubolratana's warm exchange with her brother comes after he dashed her political aspirations in the lead-up to March 24 elections, torpedoing her nomination as a prime ministerial candidate by a now-dissolved political party.

Full results are due to be announced next week with the ruling junta tipped to return as the civilian government.

"Likewise the coronation has to be done properly and he doesn't mind the expense, but it has to be done properly", Sulak said.

After the 2 ½ hours of ceremonies ended, Vajiralongkorn stepped from his throne, walked in front of other royal family members and scattered in his path tiny flowers of silver and gold, representing heavenly gifts for them to collect.

Vajiralongkorn's son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, was one of the family members granted a fresh name for the new reign.

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