People from across the country arriving in Bangkok not only have the chances to pay their last respects to the beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej in front of the royal urn inside the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall at the Grand Palace, but also have the opportunities to eat food prepared and cooked by, and receive medicines from members of the Royal Family.
Among the royal family members coming out to familiarize with mourners included Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali.
Mourners have the added privilege and have something to be proud of with the overwhelming compassion shown as members of the Royal Family have given their time to provide relief to mourners by preparing food and medicines on a very personal and informal basis.
At Sanam Luang field, large crowds from the general public had queued up to receive sticky rice and fried chicken that was personally cooked by Her Royal Highness Princess Somsawali Kitiyakara.
Those who had waited patiently for their food were well rewarded as they were given the food by Her Royal Highness herself who conversed on a friendly and informal manner to the public.
All who were able to receive food from Her Royal Highness were greatly impressed by her caring and personal demeanor.
Asked by one mourner if she was tired, the princess replied in a very friendly manner, “I am not tired at but a little sore. Can you get me a chair?”
The princess was seen frying chicken in a large pan filled with hot vegetable oil and chicken wings, thighs, and legs.
Princess Pa Foundation officials in charge of Royal medicine packages said that 500 kilogrammes of chicken were prepared every day but they have found that this was inadequate.
Because of the large number of people, the amount has now been increased to 1,300 kilogrammes per day. These will be able to supply at least 10,000 people. But officials are now discovering it is still not enough, as authorities said over 30,000 arriving daily and up to 100,000 at weekend, mostly from the provinces.
One official recalled the food distributed to mourners.
“Everything must pass strict scrutiny. Sticky rice must be hot and must be given out in ample quantity. Her Royal Highness desires that everyone who comes here is well fed. She doesn’t want anyone to go away empty handed and as such has prepared one of each item for everyone.”
She had also ordered that extreme care and attention be given to all preparations be it for food, drinks or medicines.
She has given up her personal time in ensuring this and has fostered great love and admiration for her efforts.
Meanwhile His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has also personally ordered his Royal Guards to prepare 3 large pots of food as well as drinking water for members of the public who came to pay their respects to His Majesty.
Twelve thousand people were able to be fed with these foods which His Royal Highness has specified must be prepared with the utmost care and be fresh and clean to provide relief for tired mourners.
On top of this, members of the Royal Family were also concerned about the physical health of mourners and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn herself had overseen the preparation of medical units from the Chulalongkorn Hospital to be on standby to look after the public.
Doctors and nurses have been posted here and will look after the public every day.