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Thai King Bhumibol’s Hearse Blessed in Ancient Rite

Nontarat Phaicharoen
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Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET on 2017-09-22

Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha presided Thursday over the blessing of a historic hearse that will be used to carry the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej to Sanam Luang (the Royal Ground) for his cremation in Bangkok on Oct. 26.

Bhumibol, Thailand’s longest-reigning king, died Oct. 13, 2016, at the age of 88. His funeral rites are scheduled for Oct. 25 to 29.

The hearse, named Phra Maha Phichai Ratcharot or “Great Victory Royal Chariot,” was first used in 1795 for the funeral of the father of King Rama I, and later to transport royals of the Chakri Dynasty. It has been rebuilt for the current ceremony.

The 13-ton carriage of carved, lacquered, and gilded wood will be pulled by 216 men.

An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the Golden Palanquin.

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