His Majesty the King granted the public permission to enter the Royal Pantheon and pay homage to the statues of previous kings which are enshrined there.
It was the first time during the King’s reign that the premises have been opened to the public.
The 172-centimetre tall bronze statue of King Rama IX stands on a plinth 7 centimetres high, weighing 156 kilogrammes.
Even though Bangkok experienced heavy rain yesterday morning, this did not deter crowds from visiting the Grand Palace to pay their respects to the statue of the much-revered late king.
Streams of people dressed in yellow queued up to enter the Royal Pantheon, with groups of 50 allowed inside at a time.
Precautions were also taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as visitors were required to wear face masks and use hand sanitisers.
Among the distinguished visitors were Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and House Speaker Chuan Leekpai.
The Royal Household Bureau will allow the public to pay their respects again on Oct 23, which is King Chulalongkorn Day, and on Dec 5, which is the birthday of King Rama IX.
Pattarawan Kaewsrirawong, 37, from Bangkok’s Thawi Watthana district, said she and her mother came to pay homage to the late king’s statue as they still hold the memory of their beloved king dear to their hearts.
“We learned that the Royal Pantheon would be open today [Tuesday] so we arrived here early in the morning only to find that there was already a long queue in front of us. There was heavy rain, but no-one was disheartened. This is another day to remember. It shows Thais remain loyal to the royal institution,” Ms Pattarawan said.