The formal Royal Coronation ceremonies began earlier this year with the gathering of blessed waters from around the country to used in the ceremonies. (See here.)
Yesterday, His Majesty the King accompanied by Queen Suthida paid homage to the monument of King Rama V at the Royal Palace.
His Majesty the King also paid homage to the Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn at the Royal Plaza and the Memorial of King Rama I at the foot of Memorial Bridge. He also worshiped sacred beings at Baisal Daksin Throne Hall and Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence.
During a ceremony today (May 3), starting at 10am the Royal Golden Plaque of the official title of His Majesty the King, the Royal Golden Plaque of His Majesty’s horoscope, and the Royal Seal of State are to transferred from the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to Baisal Daksin Throne Hall.
Yet, the most important process of the Royal Coronation Ceremony takes place tomorrow, May 4, marking the Coronation Day of King Rama X.
The official program for Royal Coronation ceremonies for tomorrow through Monday, which has been proclaimed a national public holiday, is as follows:
Friday, May 4
The Royal Purification, or the “Song Muratha Bhisek” Ceremony, takes place at Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence. “Muratha Bhisek” refers to the action of pouring holy water over the head of the King, also known as Ablution. It is followed by the Anointment Ceremony at Baisal Daksin Throne Hall.
In the ancient times, the most important part of the whole ceremony was considered to be the Anointment Ceremony. It denoted accession to power throughout the eight cardinal directions of the compass and, by extension, to reign over all regions of the land. The chief Brahmin presents him with eight vessels of the Brahmin holy water from each of the eight cardinal directions of the compass. As he is presented with each vessel, the King turns to its corresponding direction, and ends sitting in the direction facing east once again.
At present, the Crowning is accepted as the highest ceremony, according to the example set in the reign of His Majesty King Mongkut (Rama IV). Throughout the process of the Crowning, all monks are chanting prayers of benediction, the official ensemble are blowing conch shells, beating drums, gongs and other instruments and every temple bell in the area is ringing loudly. The guards of honour stand in salutation and a brass band plays the royal anthem of Thailand. Artillerymen fire cannons for an auspicious victory to honour His Majesty the King.
Then His Majesty the King proceeds to the Bhadrapitha Throne and sits under the Royal Nine-tiered Umbrella, where the Chief Brahmin presents him with the Royal Golden Plaque of His Majesty’s official title, the Royal Regalia, the Ancient and Auspicious Orders, and the Weapons of Sovereignty. After the Crowning and Investiture Ceremony, His Majesty presents the First Royal Command.
After the Crowning and Investiture Ceremony at the Bhadrapitha Throne, the Brahmins offers blessings to His Majesty the King, and the newly crowned King presents the First Royal Command in the Thai language.
His Majesty the King grants a grand audience to members of the Royal Family, the Privy Council and the Cabinet, as well as senior officials, gathered to offer their best wishes to His Majesty at Amarindra Vinicchaya Throne Hall.
His Majesty proceeds to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to proclaim himself the Royal Patron of Buddhism.
The ceremony of Assumption of the Royal Residence takes place at Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence. The purpose of the ceremony is to symbolically take up the royal residence and perform housewarming.
Sunday, May 5
The ceremony to bestow His Majesty’s Royal Cypher and Royal Title and to grant the royal ranks to members of royalty takes place at Amarindra Vinicchaya Throne Hall.
His Majesty the King rides in the Royal Palanquin in the Royal Procession on Land to encircle the city, affording people the opportunity to attend and pay homage to their new King.
Routes of the Royal Land Procession
• From the Grand Palace, the procession comes out from Abhorn Bimok Pavilion through Vises Jayasri Gate. It turns right to Na Phra Lan Road, turns left to Ratchadamnoen Nai Road, turns right to Ratchadamnoen Klang Road and then turns left to Tanao Road before moving toward Wat Bovoranives. The Royal Palanquin stops in front of Wat Bovoranives, where His Majesty the King enters to pay homage to the main Buddha image in the ubosot.
• The procession continues to move along Phra Sumen Road and turns right to Ratchadamnoen Road, passing through the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall. Then it turns left to Atsadang Road and Bamrung Mueang Road. The Royal Palanquin stops in front of Wat Rajabopidh, where His Majesty enters to pay homage to the main Buddha image in the ubosot.
• The procession leaves Wat Rajabopidh, passing through Fueang Nakhon Road, and then turns right to Charoen Krung Road. The Royal Palanquin stops in front of Wat Phra Chetuphon, where His Majesty enters to pay homage to the main Buddha image in the ubosot.
• The procession with His Majesty riding in the Royal Palanquin leaves Wat Phra Chetuphon along Thai Wang Road, moving back to the Grand Palace. It enters Vises Jayasri Gate to Abhorn Bimok Pavilion.
Monday, May 6
His Majesty the King grants a public audience on a balcony of Suddhaisavarya Prasad Hall in the Grand Palace to receive his well wishes from the people.
His Majesty grants an audience to members of the international diplomatic corps, who offer their felicitations on this special occasion at Chakri Maha Prasad Throne Hall.
Royal Barge Procession
The final procedure of the Coronation of King Rama X is the Royal Barge Procession, to be held in October 2019. The procession begins at the Wasukri pier at 4pm, when His Majesty the King travels along the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) on the occasion of presenting robes to Buddhist monks (Royal Kathin Ceremony).
About 2,300 oarsmen will be prepared to row over 50 barges to be arranged into five groupings, from the Wasukri pier to Wat Arun, with a total length of four kilometres. Rhythmic barge-rowing songs are part of this ceremonial water-borne procession, which is a rare spectacle, arranged on special occasions only.
A major rehearsal on the Suphannahong royal barge was conducted Tuesday, after officials decorated the royal barge and prepared a rowing crew on Monday to prepare for the Royal Coronation ceremonies.
The Royal Household Bureau’s officials had installed five five-tier umbrellas, two seven-tier umbrellas and draperies aboard the royal barge, as well as a three-prong pennant at the stern.
The Suphannahong royal barge has been decorated with garlands, festoons and artificial flowers made by Satri Wat Rakhang school. They were made of yellow and gold Tatar cloth, stuffed with kapok and embroidered with four dahlia flowers. Satri Wat Rakhang school teachers and students have carried out the distinctive ancient art of floral decoration since 1959.
Cdr Natthawat Aramklua, head of the Navy’s Royal Barge Division, confirmed the decoration of the royal barge had been finished in traditionally magnificent fashion, while all rowing crew members have undergone physical and mental exercises and are proud to be taking part in the significant royal ceremonies.
A major rehearsal of the rowing of the royal barge by 64 crewmembers is scheduled to take place over three days beginning on Tuesday, from Thonburi dockyard to Ratcha Voradit pier. The crew include 50 rowers, two helmsmen, two naval officers, a three-prong pennant holder, a signal man, a singer and seven umbrella holders.