New Thai king leads prayers for late father
BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s new monarch King Maha Vajiralongkorn led prayers for his late father on Friday, his first appearance at Bangkok’s Grand Palace since he was officially appointed the day before after a seven week delay.
The ceremony, which was broadcast live on television, offered Thais their first glimpse of Vajiralongkorn presiding over official duties as their new king, the tenth ruler of the current Chakri dynasty.
Thailand has been plunged into grief since the death of his widely revered father King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13 October after seven-decades on the throne.
The brief period of succession uncertainty came to an end this week with Vajiralongkorn’s official proclamation as the new king capped by an acceptance ceremony on Thursday evening.
Palace officials have announced that his full title is now Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. He will also be known as King Rama X.
His coronation will take place after Bhumibol’s cremation, which will not occur until after a one-year mourning period has ended.