Thais flock to palace af­ter king’s death

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Tens of thou­sands of Thai mourn­ers thronged Satur­day to the palace complex where King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej’s body is be­ing kept, as the gov­ern­ment said a re­gent would be the care­taker of the monar­chy un­til the crown prince takes over fol­low­ing his fa­ther’s death.

Dressed in somber black and white, peo­ple from all over the coun­try con­verged at the complex in Bangkok’s his­toric cen­ter. Bhu­mi­bol died Thurs­day af­ter pro­longed ill­nesses that had in­ca­pac­i­tated many of his or­gans. He was 88.

But con­fu­sion reigned out­side the complex as po­lice an­nounced that it was closed for seven days. A while later, the complex gates were opened for peo­ple to visit one of the halls. The king’s body, which is be­ing kept in an­other build­ing, will not be re­vealed to the pub­lic for an­other 15 days, au­thor­i­ties said.

The crowds lin­ing out­side since dawn were sub­dued and or­derly de­spite the swelling num­bers. Peo­ple shared food and handed each other wa­ter.

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