Crowds and Halo Sun Await Coronation Parade

BANGKOK — Streets in the historic quarters of Bangkok on Sunday were filled with people hoping to catch a glimpse of His Majesty the King later today.

As part of his coronation rituals, King Vajiralongkorn is set to tour the old city area at 4.30pm, riding on a royal palanquin flanked by troops clad in traditional garments. A number of roads have been cleared of traffic to welcome crowds of people seeking to pay homage to their new monarch.

The tradition harks back to the years when much of Bangkok was confined to what is now Phra Nakhon neighborhood.

Hundreds of police and street cleaners were deployed to keep order in the historic district, where the temperature reached a searing heat of 35 degree celsius.

A halo sun also appeared earlier, which was taken as an auspicious sign by many Thais.

His Majesty’s coronation ceremony lasted from Friday to Monday. After being crowned at the Grand Palace yesterday, King Vajiralongkorn today dispensed new titles to members of the Royal Family to reflect changes in the royal hierarchy.

Read: Bangkok Roads to Close 5 Days During King’s Coronation (Maps)

For instance, Queen Sirikit – a widow to the late King Bhumibol – is now designated as Queen Mother while the title of reigning queen itself was passed to King Vajiralongkorn’s wife, Suthida. There was no title change for the King’s elder sister, who will continue to be known officially as Princess Ubolratana.

The three-day ceremony will end tomorrow with His Majesty the King’s public audience at the Grand Palace. The King will also hold audience with members of the international diplomatic corps later that evening.