Thailand: 3-Day Coronation Ceremony in May Planned for King Vajiralongkorn

Nontarat Phaicharoen
190102-TH-king-1000.jpg Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn (center), holds a candle during Wisakha Bucha day at Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok, May 29, 2018.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who succeeded his late father more than two years ago, will be crowned in early May, the Thai prime minister announced Wednesday, adding that this would not impact a general election tentatively scheduled for Feb. 24.

A day after the Royal Household Bureau gave the coronation date, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said he had invited Princess Sirindhorn to chair a committee to organize the three-day ceremony, scheduled for May 4 to 6.

“Whether the election date remains Feb. 24, we are not going to discuss this, there is no change,” he told reporters following a cabinet meeting. Prayuth became prime minister in 2014 after leading a military coup to overthrow the democratic government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

“It is up to the EC to successfully implement it or not, based on circumstances,” he said.

“We give priority to the coronation ceremony, the key event for us Thais, but things can be conducted in conjunction,” he said.

Titipol Phakdeewanich, dean of the political science faculty at Ubon Ratchathani University, said he was optimistic about the upcoming election.

“There might be a possibility for a postponement, but if at all, it will be a brief one. There is no reason to put if off that long,” Titipol told BenarNews by phone. “The election bolsters the image of the ceremony in the eyes of the international community.”

King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, or King Rama X, is the 10th king of the Chakri Dynasty. He ascended to the throne on Dec. 1, 2016, following the death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct. 13, 2016, at the age of 88 after a seven-decade reign.

The coronation ceremony, which is a mix of Buddhist and Brahman rites, will begin on May 4 when King Maha Vajiralongkorn will have an audience with other royals, cabinet members and high-ranking officials, according to the Royal Household Bureau. On May 5, the central coronation rite will take place, followed on May 6 by a celebration for the public and diplomats.


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