The second dress rehearsal for the royal funeral of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was held today, October 15, in near perfect weather conditions and amidst some of the tightest security Bangkok has seen.
From well before security checkpoints opened at 5am Thais began queuing for the second of three dress rehearsals in the lead-up to the five day-long royal funeral ceremony of the late monarch; And the first funeral for a monarch that Thailand has seen for 67 years. A ceremony steeped in tradition, and incorporating elements of Buddhism and Hinduism, much of which will be conducted in the Pali-Sanskrit royal tongue.
From very young to very old; spanning across all social classes and political affiliations they queued patiently and solemnly, the lines stretching hundreds of meters long. The wait, many said, was inconsequential. For many, the dress rehearsal was only marginally below attending the October 25-29 royal funeral.
Those wishing to enter the area around the royal cremation grounds — Sanam Luang — were required to pass through airport-style metal detectors, showing their Thai ID cards to cameras as they did so. Bags were thoroughly checked, and finally each person was given a wipe over with a hand-held metal detector.
Inside the quarantined area teams of uniformed and plain-clothed security personal mingled with mourners; unattended bags were quickly pounced on, quarantined and checked.
Hundreds of volunteers who responded to the ‘We do good deeds with our hearts” merit making suggestion of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun were on hand to reinforce security measures — and assist the public — as were hundreds or more teams of medics, nurses, and volunteer rescue personal.
Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, younger sister of the current King of Thailand, joined the dress rehearsal, much to the delight of those attending.
As the royal funeral procession slowly made its way towards the royal crematorium multiple teams of high ranking police and military from all of Thailand’s armed forces shadowed its progress. Notes were dictated, photos taken, and details needing addressing to reach perfection recorded.
The photos below capture today dress rehearsal for the royal funeral of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and are in order of appearance.
Second dress rehearsal of the Royal Funeral of King Bhumibol slide gallery
Photos John Le Fevre
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- Inside the Royal Crematorium of King Bhumibol The Great (photo special) (AEC News Today)
- Rehearsals For Thai King Bhumibol’s Funeral Begin (HD video) (AEC News Today)
He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Prior to AEC News Today he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
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