Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be cremated today. His son and successor to the throne, King Maha Vajiralongkorn will perform the last rites.
The revered king died in October last year aged 88. Since his death, Thailand has observed a year of official mourning, with many people wearing black.
The King was seen as a stabilising figure in a country hit by cycles of political turmoil and multiple coups.
Thai capital, Bangkok, a lavish and elaborate funeral is underway for the country’s late king. Tens of thousands of mourners have lined the streets to watch the funeral procession.
The estimated cost for the 5-day funeral is 90 million dollars. Proceedings began at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Wednesday and the late king’s body was moved to a cremation site. On Thursday, the royal urn was accompanied by thousands of soldiers to the site ahead of the cremation.
More than a hundred thousand Thais have gathered around the Palace to give their final farewells.
The deeply revered king died last October at the age of 88. His body has been lying in state ever since.
During his 70-year reign he was regarded as the pillar of stability for Thailand.
Dignitaries from more than 40 countries will attend the cremation on Thursday evening, including Japan’s Prince Akishino, the Emperor’s second son, and his wife Kiko.
The new king will be crowned after the funeral.