Thais bid King Bhumibol Adulyadej Farewell
Thailand is in a state of mourning for the recent death of highly revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history.
King Bhumibol died on Thursday in Bangkok. He was 88 years old.
Thais have been anxious and worried about the King’s health since he was was hospitalized October 3.
CNN reported hundreds of people gathered for a week at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital where the king was being treated.
The anticipation and anxiety turned to wailing and embraces after the announcement of King’s Bhumibol’s death on Thursday.
The Royal Palace announced that the King died at 3:52 p.m. in a “peaceful manner.”
King Bhumibol spent most of his final years in a hospital. His ailing health triggered anxiety about a future without him.
King Bhumibol’s body will leave Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital for the Grand Palace where his funeral rites are expected to be carried out.
The Royal Palace said Somdej Phrawannarat, a much-revered monk, will lead the procession. He will be followed by the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Afterwards, a motorcade will follow where the King’s body and his family will be transported to the Grand Palace.
The King’s body will undergo a funeral bathing ceremony at the Grand Palace.
King Bhumibol as a Unifying Figure
King Bhumidol was considered a unifying figure in a highly divided nation. He drew lavish affection from his followers and became the mediator during political crisis. Many say his death draws uncertainties across Thailand.
Thais highly regarded the Buddhist king as a father figure committed to the welfare and the stability of the nation. He is known among the Thai citizens as a caring monarch as well.
King Bhumibol (pronounced poo-me-pon) was an accidental monarch who took the throne of the kingdom once known as Siam in 1946 and held it for more than 70 years. King Bumibol embraced the role of national patriarch. He left a legacy of upholding Thailand’s traditions of hierarchy, deference and loyalty.