From November 14 to November 16, Thais will be in a mourning period for the late HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana
Mourners attend a lavish funeral for a Thai princess that shows the importance of the monarchy. ITN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports.
More VDO clip– Royal Cremation Procession on Nov 15, 2008
Source: The Nation
Photo Gallery– Royal Cremation Ceremony on Nov 15, 2008
Story with Photos– Farewell to Princess Galyani Vadhana
Source: By Thanong Khanthong
After almost a year of mourning, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej yesterday presided over a cremation ceremony for his elder sister, HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana.
The rituals followed the ancient royal tradition befitting the highest honour for Princess Galyani.
The scene was reminiscent of the grand royal cremation ceremony for HRH the Princess Mother held in 1996 to coincide with the Golden Jubilee honouring the King’s 50-year reign as the Ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty.
Nobody knew what went through the King’s mind as he bade farewell to his sister. With the passing away of Princess Galyani, the King has become the only survivor of the Mahidol family. One can imagine that he must have felt very sad and lonely.
The whole nation plunged into grief as they watched through broadcast TV the King, the Queen and other Royal Family members paying their last respects to Princess Galyani.
Their Majesties the King and Queen arrived at the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang at about 4am. Inside, the Royal Family, along with royal descendants of the Chakri Dynasty, the nation’s top leaders, dignitaries, foreign ambassadors and guests were already seated.
The monks offered a prayer, reminding guests that everything that comes into being must pass away. This Buddhist sense of non-attachment revolves around the Abhidharma prayer.
At about 6pm, the King and Queen placed paper flowers at the base of the structure that held the golden urn for the Princess inside the crematorium while a traditional Thai orchestra performed the music of sorrow. The King and the Queen watched the fire from the paper flowers burning before quietly bidding farewell to the Princess.
The King was only two years old when his father, Prince Mahidol, passed away. When the King’s elder brother, King Ananda, passed away on June 9, 1946, the King was only 19 years old. He had never expected to become a monarch.
On July 18, 1995, the Princess Mother died at the age of 95. On that day, the King, Princess Galyani and HRH Princess Maka Chakri Sirindhorn spent the final hours with the Princess Mother. They held her hand to bid her farewell.
The Princess Mother was more than a mother for the King; she was his spiritual guide throughout his reign of virtue and sufficiency. She supported the King’s efforts to reinvent the monarchy’s Chakri Dynasty.
In June last year, Princess Galyani was admitted to Siriraj Hospital for cancer treatment. The King was in poor health then, too, and the same hospital admitted him. During that time, the King frequently visited his sister at her hospital room overlooking the Chao Phya River.
The King sat beside Princess Galyani during her last moments, holding her hand, before she – the sister of two Siamese Kings – passed away.
PAD to Pause Political Speeches during Royal Funeral Ceremony
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