MORE THAN 170 ambassadors and diplomatic officers from 65 countries visited the royal chariots at the National Museum and the Royal Crematorium at Sanam Luang yesterday.
“The special tours aim to promote Thailand’s centuries-old tradition of the Royal Cremation and royal activities to the world with the help of these ambassadors,” Culture Minister Vira Rojpojanarat said at the National Museum.
The tour was led by Chakrarot Chitrabongs, the former permanent secretary of the Ministry of Culture.
The diplomatic guests were from the embassies of the US, the UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Bhutan, members of Asean and the Middle East. The ambassadors will participate in the Royal Cremation on October 26.
Like Thailand, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Cambodia, Spain, Morocco, Oman, Bahrain, the UAE and Malaysia all have a monarch.
Uffe Wolffhechel, the Ambassador of Denmark, said: “Denmark and Thailand have had a long relationship since the reign of King Rama V. The two monarchs maintained their relationship, visiting each other over the years. That, of course, is an added dimension to this special event. This is a very different form of tradition. Thai tradition is very elaborate.
“The knowledge of the meaning and symbolism we foreigners learn today will be useful for us to understand the upcoming ceremony. We will share this knowledge with our people.”
Savitri Suwansathi, adviser to the Ministry of Culture, said: “Following our strict tradition, the Royal Cremation of the late King Bhumibol is unique and the grandest [to reflect] his longest reign and his great devotion to the Thai people. We Thais would like to pay the highest respects to our beloved monarch.
“The innovation and creativity are seen in the construction of the Royal Crematorium, and its landscape represents His Majesty the King’s innovative sufficiency development for the Kingdom,” she said.