Top: A child shows off his ‘I Was Born In The Reign of Rama IX’ shirt Wednesday.

BANGKOK — Less than 24 hours remain before the Grand Palace shuts its gates to mourners, who lined up Wednesday in pouring rain all the way to the Democracy Monument for the last chance to pay their respects to the late king.

Three hundred and forty-two days after the public was granted access to view the royal urn where King Bhumibol lay in state, the palace will close Friday for preparations for the royal funeral and cremation ceremony. There were so many mourners the queue ran nearly 2 kilometers down Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

Many huddled under umbrellas or plastic raincoats to protect themselves against the tropical downpour.

The palace, a popular tourist attraction, will reopen on Oct. 30. King Bhumibol died Oct. 13, 2016, at 88.

Read: Oct. 5 is Last Day to Pay Homage to King Bhumibol

Some mourners hold umbrellas and wear plastic raincoats while queuing.
Mourners queue for a chance to pay respect to Rama IX at the Grand Palace Wednesday afternoon by the Democracy Monument.
A man holds a photo of Rama IX while in line to mourn at the Grand Palace.

Disabled mourners Wednesday at the Grand Palace.
Mourners hold up images of Rama IX while queueing.