Pattaya bids farewell to HRH Bejaratana

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Public officials and local residents paid their respects to the late HRH Bejaratana Rajasuda at a ceremony held in Pattaya simultaneously with the royal funeral in Bangkok.

After HM the King laid flowers on the casket of the princess at Sanam Luang, monks made their own flower offering at Naklua’s Photisampan Temple, followed by government officials led by Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome. As the Sawang Silp Thai Orchestra of Nong Plalai played mournful music, deputy mayors, district chiefs, business leaders and regular citizens followed, offering their prayers and condolences for Her Royal Highness, who succumbed to a blood infection last July at age 84.

Banglamung District Chief Chaowalit Saeng-Uthai and local monks present sandalwood flowers at the base of an image of the late HRH Bejaratana Rajasuda.Banglamung District Chief Chaowalit Saeng-Uthai and local monks present sandalwood flowers at the base of an image of the late HRH Bejaratana Rajasuda.

“The HRH’s death saddened me, but I feel honored to have the opportunity to pay my final respects for her commitment to citizens of the nation. She was like a national mentor,” said Suwanpha Pengkla, a teacher at Pattaya School No. 2.

A first cousin of HM the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, HRH Bejaratana was born Nov. 24, 1925. The only child of King Vajiravudh and Princess Suvadhana, she was seen only once by King Rama VI before he died. She and her mother moved to England in 1937, where she lived for 20 years. Upon her return she took special interest in education, public health, Buddhism, and the soldiers and police stationed at Thailand’s borders.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome leads local officials in saying a final goodbye to HRH Bejaratana Rajasuda.Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome leads local officials in saying a final goodbye to HRH Bejaratana Rajasuda.

“When I heard of HRH’s death, I was sad,” recalled mourner Kledkaew Theppitak. “I believe that any Thai who hears of the death of any member of the royal family will be saddened but no one can fight the laws of nature. Therefore, today, I am bidding my final farewell to HRH Bejaratana with all my loyalty.”

Traffic for the April 9 Naklua ceremony was surprisingly light, with police and city officials out in full force to ensure people could pay their respects without hassle.

“All Thais are sad about HRH’s death and out of loyalty to her, I am doing my duty as an officer to facilitate the royal ceremony for citizens and government officials in traffic and safety,” said traffic-control officer Pansa Boriboon.

The Sawang Silp Thai Orchestra from Nong Plalai plays solemn music during the ceremony.The Sawang Silp Thai Orchestra from Nong Plalai plays solemn music during the ceremony.