The Latest: Thai king presents wife with queen’s regalia
BANGKOK (AP) — The Latest on the coronation of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn (all times local):
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has presented his wife with the traditional regalia of a Thai queen as one of his first acts after being crowned.
Vajiralongkorn took the crown shortly after noon Saturday, in the third rite of his coronation ceremony, which took place more than two years after he assumed the throne.
The king on Wednesday appointed his wife, Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya, to be the country’s queen.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been crowned in a coronation ceremony taking place more than two years after he assumed the throne.
The crown was handed to Vajiralongkorn by the chief Brahmin, a Hindu priest, who has played a guiding part in Saturday’s mixed Buddhist-Hindu ceremony.
The 66-year-old Vajiralongkorn then placed the crown atop his head as he sat on a throne. The crown, ornamented with diamonds set in gold enamel, is more than 200 years old, 66 centimeters (26 inches) high, and weighs 7.3 kilograms (16 pounds).
The crown was handed to the king, known as Rama X, as part of the third and final rite of the coronation ceremony, the presentation of royal regalia. He had already assumed full regal power with completion of the second rite, the Royal Anointment Ceremony.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has completed the second of three coronation activities.
The Royal Anointment Ceremony completes the consecration rites of his coronation, vesting him as a fully sovereign king. In a third, more secular rite, he will take his crown.
In the anointment ceremony, the king — having changed into gold-embroidered royal vestments — was seated on an octagonal throne, with the sides representing the cardinal points of the compass, and a dignitary seated at each point. Each poured holy water over the king’s hand, along with a ninth representing the heavens.
The ceremony ended with the monarch being presented with a nine-tiered white umbrella of state, symbolizing his full consecration.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, wearing a simple white robe, has gone through the first of three major rites to consecrate him at his coronation ceremony.
The king entered a small pavilion on the grounds of the Grand Palace, where he was briefly showered with water from several holy rivers and ponds and other sources. Other water was poured on him from old royal water vessels.
The rite Saturday, known as the Royal Purification Ceremony, took place amid music from drums, conch shells and other instruments. Outside the palace, artillery was fired in a salute to the monarch.
After a more than a decade of political strife, including a military coup and a contentious election less than two months ago, the people of Thailand are witnessing this weekend the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in a centuries-old royal tradition that last happened seven decades ago.
The coronation represents a renewal of the monarchy’s power after the October 2016 death of Vajiralongkorn’s revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The 66-year-old Vajiralongkorn has served as king since then. But to be fully and formally invested with regal power and to ensure his legitimacy, he will be consecrated in an elaborate series of ancient rites that culminate in three days of elaborate pageantry. It includes a parade and an appearance by the monarch on a balcony of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.