UP TO 300,000 people will be able to watch the royal processions in honour of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the Royal Cremation Ceremonies.
Several processions will take place around the Grand Palace and the adjacent Sanam Luang area, where the grand Royal Crematorium has been constructed. Three royal processions will be held on October 26, the day of the actual cremation. Huge crowds of black-clad citizens are expected to turn out to watch the royal processions because of their reverence for the late monarch.
“We believe between 150,000 and 300,000 will be able to squeeze into areas from where they can observe the royal processions. They, for example, can gather in front of the Supreme Court,” deputy national police commissioner Pol General Dejnarong Sutticharnbancha said yesterday.
He said officials would start allowing people into the areas from 5am on October 25.
Some free transport will be available for mourners heading to Sanam Luang during the Royal Cremation Ceremonies, he said.
Dejnarong said the areas for the Royal Cremation Ceremonies, which will run from October 25 to 29, have been designated maximum-security zones starting from yesterday. The ceremonies have much significance to Thai people most of whom were born in the reign of the late King.
King Rama IX reigned over Thailand for seven full decades until his passing on October 13 last year.
His departure has plunged Thailand into deep mourning. After his Royal Urn was placed in the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall of the Grand Palace, a total of 12,739,531 people paid their respects to the late monarch in the hall since October 28 last year. They prostrated before his Royal Urn and Royal Coffin to show their deep loyalty. Altogether, these mourners donated Bt889,545,100.01 in dedication to the late monarch who had worked for various good causes to improve the lives of his people.
Attendance records were made and repeatedly broken over the past 337 days as people came from all over Thailand to pay their final respects to one of Thailand’s greatest kings. A total of 110,889 mourners entered the Throne Hall on Thursday, the final day for public viewing of the Royal Urn, according to the Royal Household Bureau.
The last visitors were admitted into the hall at 2.18am yesterday.
Visitors also made donations totalling Bt7 million for the day.
Thursday saw the highest turnout, followed by Wednesday (96,150) and October 1 (90,300 mourners).
Many people were seen in tears as they got the last chance to pay respects to the much-revered King inside the Throne Hall. A woman was overheard saying to her rain-soaked son late Thursday night: “Endure the rain, my child. Remember that you once got an opportunity to pay your last respects to the Father of our country.”