The bones and ashes of Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyedaj were brought to their final resting place Sunday in the conclusion of a five-day funeral after a year of official mourning.
The funeral ceremonies drew hundreds of thousands to the streets of Bangkok, and millions more to shrines across the country.
Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana led the final royal procession on horseback to the Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Bovoranives temples where a traditional ceremony took place to lay the ashes of her grandfather.
King Bhumibol ascended to the throne in 1946 after the death of his elder brother, King Ananda Mahidol, and was among the world’s longest serving monarchs when he died. He was widely regarded as a demigod by his subjects, who had nothing but praise for his rule.
Hundreds had camped out for up to a week, hoping to catch a glimpse of the procession held under grey monsoonal skies, but with an occasional burst of sunshine. They were joined by international dignitaries from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and the United States, where Bhumibol was born, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Since his death after a long illness at age 88 last year on Oct. 13, almost 13 million people, or a fifth of the population, have paid their respects at the Throne Hall in Dusit Palace where his remains laid in state, with a golden death mask covering his face.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn � Bhumibol’s son � presided over the pageantry culminating in Thursday’s cremation. He was often flanked by other members of the royal family and Thai elites from the military and civil society.
King Vajiralongkorn’s coronation is expected to be held in December of this year.
Source: Voice of America