King installs Umbrella of State

Kingdom Grieves October 19, 2017 01:00


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Anointment marks completion of the royal creamtorium; royal fire granted for distribution in provinces and abroad.

HM KING Maha Vajiralongkorn installed the Nine-Tiered Great White Umbrella of State, or “Nopphapadon Maha Sawetta Chat”, at the top of the Royal Crematorium in a ceremony yesterday evening. 

The installation took place at the auspicious time of 5.19pm, marking the completion of the construction of the Royal Crematorium. 

Also at the ceremony were HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana. 

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, chairman of the Committee of the Royal Cremation of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was also present, along with General Tanasak Patimapragorn, deputy prime minister; Vira Rojpojchanarat, minister of Culture; Anant Chuchot, the director-general of the Department of Fine Arts; and artists. 

During the ceremony, HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn sprayed holy water and made an auspicious marking on the nine-tiered umbrella before raising it to the top of the Royal Crematorium. It took approximately three minutes to rise from the ground to the top, where a technician connected it. 

The Nine-Tiered Great White Umbrella of State has been design-ed in accordance with royal traditions that have been in practice |since the reigns of King Rama VI |and King Rama VIII. It is made of white cloth in nine-tiers, each decorated with three levels of golden bands. 

The last band at the bottom part is decorated with 14 golden Chambak flower clusters. The conical spire is made of brass and applied gold leaf. 

The Umbrella of State has been reserved for the King since the historical Ayutthaya period.

The Nine-tiered Great White Umbrella of State is placed or hung on various occasions; for example over the royal seat in a throne hall, and behind the Phattharadit Throne, when His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej performed his Royal Coronation Ceremony. One such umbrella will also be hung over the Royal Urn at the ceremony for the royal remains and be placed over the Golden Palanquin with Three Poles in the grand procession to transfer the Royal Urn. 

The umbrella placed at the top of the Royal Crematorium weighs 80 kilograms and is 5.1 metres high and 1.1 metres wide. 

The top notch, shaped like a lotus, is made of copper moulding to act as a lightning conductor. The structure is made of black steel, which is durable and light, and will resist any water leakage that could damage the crematorium. 

Inside, the umbrella has a plastic structure that will protect it from the wind. 

After the ceremony, HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn granted an audience to Prayut, the Bangkok governor, provincial governors and the permanent secretary for foreign affairs at the Dusit Palace. 

During the audience, the monarch gave the Royal Fire that will be distributed to all provinces and Thai missions abroad for the Royal Cremation.

The fire is to be used at ceremonies that will be held on October 26 in provinces across the country, on the same day as the ceremony at the Royal Crematorium in Sanam Luang. The fire will also be given to 94 Thai missions overseas that will hold Royal Cremation ceremonies on the same day.

Replicas of the Royal Crematorium have been built in all provinces across the country.

Meanwhile, police will prepare six helicopters to take mourners to hospital if they need urgent medical treatment while travelling to or attending the Royal Cremation later this month.

Pol General Weerachai Songmetta, deputy police commissioner general and police spokesman, said this was one of the measures in place to support the mourners who will travel to Bangkok for the ceremonies. 

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