Kingdom says solemn final goodbye to most revered monarch

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Bearers of the Royal Urn pay their respects during the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
Bearers of the Royal Urn pay their respects during the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)

May his journey to Mount Meru be swift

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Thursday, Oct. 26, presided over the royal cremation ceremony for his royal father, His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

At approximately 7am, His Majesty the King, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, arrived at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall in the Grand Palace, where the body of the late King Rama IX was lying in state. His Majesty officiated at a religious ceremony before the Royal Urn was removed from the Throne Hall and loaded onto the Golden Palanquin with Three Poles, on which it was carried, in the first funeral procession, to the Royal Great Victory Chariot in front of Wat Chetuphon through the Dheva Bhirom Gate of the Grand Palace.

The Royal Urn was raised, by the Naga Conveyor, onto the Royal Great Victory Chariot. In the second procession, the royal chariot was pulled by more than 200 men from the Royal Thai Armed Forces for a distance of 890 meters from Wat Phra Chetuphon to the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground, where the Royal Crematorium is situated.

Upon arrival at Sanam Luang, the Royal Urn was lowered from the Royal Great Victory Chariot onto the Royal Gun Carriage for the third procession, again using the Naga Conveyor. The newly-built carriage then circumambulated the Royal Crematorium three times counterclockwise before the Royal Urn was placed into the crematorium. Following the installation of the urn, His Majesty the King and the Royal Family left the ceremonial ground in a motorcade.

At around 5pm, His Majesty the King and the Royal Family returned to Sanam Luang for the symbolic royal cremation. His Majesty chaired a religious ceremony at the Royal Merit-Making Pavilion, where royals and heads of state from many other countries, as well as Thai Cabinet members and high-ranking civil servants, were assembled.

On this occasion, all attendees were given a sermon by His Holiness Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatanana, the Supreme Patriarch, and a chapter of monks chanted prayers for the deceased. Afterwards, His Majesty the King led the laying of sandalwood flowers at the base of the royal catafalque inside the Royal Crematorium.

The actual royal cremation took place after 10 pm.

The symbolic urn is transported during the funeral procession of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Bhumibol’s death at age 88 after a reign of seven decades sparked a national outpouring of grief and a year of mourning, culminating in an elaborate funeral and cremation ceremony last week.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
The symbolic urn is transported during the funeral procession of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Bhumibol’s death at age 88 after a reign of seven decades sparked a national outpouring of grief and a year of mourning, culminating in an elaborate funeral and cremation ceremony last week.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
The symbolic urn is transported during the funeral procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. A ceremony in an ornate throne hall Thursday morning began the transfer of the remains of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej to his spectacular golden crematorium in the royal quarter of Bangkok after a year of mourning for the monarch Thais hailed as “Father.” (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
The symbolic urn is transported during the funeral procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. A ceremony in an ornate throne hall Thursday morning began the transfer of the remains of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej to his spectacular golden crematorium in the royal quarter of Bangkok after a year of mourning for the monarch Thais hailed as “Father.” (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn, center, and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, left, participate in the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn, center, and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, left, participate in the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn takes part in the funeral of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok. A ceremony in an ornate throne hall Thursday morning began the transfer of the remains of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej to his spectacular golden crematorium in the royal quarter of Bangkok after a year of mourning for the monarch Thais hailed as “Father”. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn takes part in the funeral of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok. A ceremony in an ornate throne hall Thursday morning began the transfer of the remains of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej to his spectacular golden crematorium in the royal quarter of Bangkok after a year of mourning for the monarch Thais hailed as “Father”. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn participates at the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn participates at the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn walks in the funeral procession of her father, the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej Bangkok. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn walks in the funeral procession of her father, the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej Bangkok. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana walks during a procession moving her grandfather, late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s ashes to special locations for further Buddhist rites in Bangkok Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana walks during a procession moving her grandfather, late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s ashes to special locations for further Buddhist rites in Bangkok Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
The ceremonial urn of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is raised into the royal crematorium and the end of the funeral procession on Thursday, Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
The ceremonial urn of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is raised into the royal crematorium and the end of the funeral procession on Thursday, Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
The ceremonial urn of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrives at the crematorium during the funeral procession as royal crematorium is seen in the background. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
The ceremonial urn of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrives at the crematorium during the funeral procession as royal crematorium is seen in the background. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Smoke rises from the royal crematorium during the final cremation of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Smoke rises from the royal crematorium during the final cremation of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
A royal palace officer prepares for religious rituals to move late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s ashes to special locations for further Buddhist rites in Bangkok Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
A royal palace officer prepares for religious rituals to move late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s ashes to special locations for further Buddhist rites in Bangkok Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Smoke rises from the royal crematorium of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok early Friday morning, Oct. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Smoke rises from the royal crematorium of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok early Friday morning, Oct. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
(Right) Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, left, participates at the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
(Right) Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, left, participates at the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
Officials hug as smoke rises from the royal crematorium of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Officials hug as smoke rises from the royal crematorium of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Mourners hold aloft the portraits of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during his funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony, in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Tearful Thais clad in black mourned on Bangkok’s streets or at viewing areas around the nation Thursday as elaborate funeral ceremonies steeped in centuries of royal tradition were held for King Bhumibol following a year of mourning. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Mourners hold aloft the portraits of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during his funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony, in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Tearful Thais clad in black mourned on Bangkok’s streets or at viewing areas around the nation Thursday as elaborate funeral ceremonies steeped in centuries of royal tradition were held for King Bhumibol following a year of mourning. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)