July 30, 2014 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Funeral of Thailand’s Princess Bejaratana

Posted in: Thailand

On Monday, thousands of Thais gathered to give their last respects to Princess BejaratanaRajasuda Sirisobhabannavadi, who was the cousin of the current King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and the only child of King Vajiravudh, Rama VI. The elaborate funeral took place nearly nine months since the Princess passed away on July 27 2011 at the age of 85. This is because the most auspicious time had to be realized for the rites.

Bejaratanas Urn 196x300 Funeral of Thailands Princess Bejaratana

The funeral began at 7am local time when the urn carrying the remains of Bejaratana was transferred from Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall to the front of Wat Phra Chetupon, or Wat Pho, on top of the royal golden palanquin. From there, the urn was moved to a royal chariot.

The second procession saw the urn go  to Sanam Luang along Sanam Chai Road. For the third procession, the urn went to the golden palanquin at Sanam Luang for three 260m laps of the phra meru, or royal funeral pyre.

At 4:30pm, King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, along with Thailand’s highest ranking politicians – such as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – military officers and other members of the royal family, arrived to take part in the symbolic cremation ceremony. The King, making a rare public appearance, lit a sandalwood flower before putting it under the royal urn.

At 10pm, the royals and officials oversaw the actual cremation.

During that, fifty Buddhist monks chanted prayers in the Song Dhamma Pavilion, west of the phra meru while a 21-gun salute sounded through Bangkok.

Also during the cremation ceremony, a 50 person Ramayana masked dance performance which told the story of Nang Loy, written by King Vajiravudh. It lasted two hours.

Monday was the first day of Princess Bejaratana’s three day funeral. Tuesday, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will oversee the ceremony in whic the royal relics and ashes will then be returned to the Grand Palace more ceremonies.

Wednesday will see the relics and ashes be brought to the Royal Mausoleum at Wat Ratchabophit.

The phra meru will be opened for the public until next week.

Despite the rainy weather, the streets of Bangkok were crowded with mourners. They laid ‘dok mai jan’, or sandalwood flowers at three allowed spots around the royal ceremonial ground for the symbolic royal cremation in honor of Bejaratana.

They also went to 46 temples across the capital to lay the sandalwood flowers, while residents upcountry also visited designated temples to pay their last respects to the Princess.

Sources: Bangkok Post, MCOT

 

Thai Royals Do Their Part for Flood Victims

Posted in: Thailand

As Thailand reels from damaging floods, its Crown Princely couple have set up food kitchens in Ayutthaya – which is in southern Thailand – near its city hall.

CP Maha Vajiralongkorn 300x199 Thai Royals Do Their Part for Flood Victims

Click here to see more photos of the Crown Prince

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Princess Srirasmi are collecting donations through the HRH Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti Fund, which is named after their son. Donations can be sent to the Bangkok Bank.

At the same time, the Crown Prince has allowed refugees to stay at local universities campus for shelter.

In addition, Princess Chakri Sirindhorn is visiting the Ayutthaya region. She gave out relief bags and had medical teams along with her. The Princess also paid a visit to one of the universities her brother allowed to act as shelters for the flood victims.

Thailand is experiencing horrific floods after some embankments collapsed Monday.

Source: The Nation