05/04/2019, 14.36
THAILAND
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King Maha Vajiralongkorn crowned as Rama X of Thailand

The ceremony began at 10.09, an auspicious time. The rituals of purification and anointing turned the man into a Buddhist deity. The king ascended to the throne in 2016, following the death of the late monarch Bhumibol.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) - This morning King Maha Vajiralongkorn was crowned king of Thailand, at the start of three days of ceremonies.

Dressed in the golden robe required for the occasion, the 66-year-old monarch placed the 7.3 kilo Great Crown of Victory on his head before issuing his first royal command: "I shall reign in righteousness for the benefits of the kingdom and the people forever”.

The coronation began at 10:09 (03:09 GMT), an auspicious time, with the purification and anointment ceremonies using sacred water collected from more than 100 locations around the country.

The king received the five Royal Regalia - the symbols of kingship - which include the Great Crown of Victory, the Royal Slippers, the Royal Fan and Fly Whisk, the Royal Sword of Victory and the Royal Sceptre.

The celebrations will last until Monday and represent the king’s transformation from human into a divine figure.

Today, in addition to the coronation and gifts, Rama X will visit the Emerald Buddha temple (Wat Phra Kaew), where he will proclaim himself Royal Patron of Buddhism. Afterwards, he will symbolically move into the official Royal Residence with a housewarming ceremony.

Tomorrow he will ride the Royal Palanquin allowing people to pay homage to him. On Monday, he will grant a public audience on a balcony in the Grand Palace.

Born on 28 July 1952, King Vajiralongkorn is the second child (only male) of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. He has an older sister, Ubolratana Rajakanya – who recently put herself forward as a candidate in an election, only to be forced to withdraw because traditionally the royal family remains above politics – and two younger siblings, Sirindhorn and Chulabhorn Walailak.

He studied abroad, in Great Britain and Australia, and was proclaimed heir to the throne on 28 December 1972.

King Vajiralongkorn, who will be known from now on simply as Rama X, is the tenth monarch of the Chakri dynasty, which has reigned since in 1782.

He ascended the throne in 2016 following the death of his beloved father, but had to wait until after a long mourning period before he could be crowned. Two days ago, in a surprise move, he married Queen Suthida Tidjai, his former bodyguard.

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