Thai king officially crowned, kick-starting three-day long coronation ceremony

Thai Royal Regalia

Thai king officially crowned, kick-starting three-day long coronation ceremony

The Chinese president said he is willing to make joint efforts with the Thai king to promote the traditional friendship between China and Thailand, deepen cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, and further develop the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

The king, in a white ritual garment and sitting in a ceremonial pavilion inside the palace, was presented holy "Muratha Bhisek" water collected from five sacred rivers and four ponds.

Vajiralongkorn's coronation comes at a time of political uncertainty in the country where the military junta and a "democratic front" battle for control of the government after a general election in March that yielded no clear results.

He was then carried in a palanquin surrounded by guards in lock-step to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha where he proclaimed himself the royal patron of Buddhism.

According to the royal palace, the pair officially married on May 1 at the Ampornsathan Throne Hall in Bangkok's Dusit Palace.

The crowning ritual was introduced from Europe to the Thai coronation ceremony during the reign of King Rama IV.

On the first day, Vajiralongkorn, 66, underwent the royal purification ceremony with holy waters from all over the country, was given a odd symbolic nine-tiered umbrella, and rode on a golden palanquin - a transportation vehicle carried by servants.

A second rite, the Royal Anointment Ceremony, completed the consecration portion of his coronation, giving him the legitimacy of being a fully sovereign king. "If you ask why the ceremony is being held this year when his majesty has already ascended the throne, it's because this is the right moment".

After the coronation, the king will receive members of the royal family, the Privy Council and Cabinet, among other senior officials, who will pay their respects. The king also promises to work with them for the nation's benefit.

Thailand is now a constitutional monarchy with the king as head of state and head of the armed forces. The king sits on an octagonal throne representing the cardinal points of a compass and water is poured on the king's hand by dignitaries seated at each point. During the ceremonies, the king gave alms to saffron-robed, barefoot monks.

In 2014 Vajiralongkorn appointed Suthida Tidjai, a former flight attendant for Thai Airways, as the deputy commander of his bodyguard unit. Soldiers also fired cannon salutes in the field of Sanam Luang to mark an official beginning of the new reign. "I'm so overjoyed. There'll never be another chance like this, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event", she said.

The three-day coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn is the first in the nation in nearly 70 years and will follow ancients, intricately planned rituals, with the loved Chakri dynasty founded back in 1782. Thailand ended absolute rule by its kings in 1932, but the monarchy remains highly revered as the divine symbol and protector of the country and Buddhist religion.

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