By The Nation
With the procedures of the coronation ceremony of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) generally following those of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s coronation on May 5, 1950, another ceremony that is expected to happen on Saturday (May 4), coronation day, is the anointment of the new Queen with the official title of Her Majesty according to traditional royal customs.
Just three days before coronation, the King appointed General Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya as the Queen, the Royal Gazette announced on Wednesday, mentioning that the 66-year-old monarch had married General Suthida, 41, in accordance with laws and traditions earlier that same afternoon.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn appoints Gen Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya as the Queen on Wednesday (May 1).
According to the TV pool news broadcast on Wednesday evening, the couple was seen signing the marriage register and the King also bestowed her with the royal decoration of the Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri and King Rama X’s Royal Cypher Medal. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Privy Councillor General Prem Tinsulanonda signed as witnesses.
Prior to becoming Queen, she was a commander of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s household guard in 2014 and then a commander of the Special Operations Unit of the King’s Guard before being promoted to the rank of general in 2016. A year later, she was named Dame Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao, which bestows the title Thanphuying.
The programme related to the installation of the new Queen of King Maha Vajiralongkorn has not been officially announced. However, the history of this procedure goes back to the coronation ceremony of King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) in 1925 when he proclaimed his royal consort Queen Rambhai Bharni as Her Majesty.
King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) applies sacred water on the forehead of Queen Rambhai Bharni to install her as Her Majesty on February 25, 1925.
The ceremony to install the Queen of King Rama VII was held after he had been anointed and invested as well as uttered the first royal command to members of the Royal Family, Privy Council, the Cabinet and other high-ranking officials at the Amarindra Vinijaya Throne Hall.
Later, at the Baisal Daksin Throne Hall, King Rama VII sat on the Bhadrapitha Throne and anointed Queen Rambhai Bharni with sacred water from the Great Conch Shell together with sacred powder on her forehead as she prostrated herself in front of him. Queen Rambhai Bharni was also presented with royal decorations, insignias and royal utensils.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) anoints Queen Sirikit to the official royal title of Her Majesty on his coronation day on May 5, 1950.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) followed that tradition by installing Queen Sirikit to become Her Majesty on May 5, 1950. King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit also granted a public audience from a balcony of the Suddhaisavarya Prasad Throne Hall at the Grand Palace two days later.
Another important ritual historically organised in the final session of coronation day is Chalerm Phra Raja Montien (the assumption of the Royal Residence) – something akin to a private housewarming celebration. It is customary for the newly crowned monarch to spend at least one night at the Chakrapat Biman Royal Residence in the innermost part of the Grand Palace.
King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambhai Bharni are pictured with the ladies of the inner court in the royal procession of the assumption of the royal residence on February 25, 1925.
During the ceremony, ladies of the inner court will carry auspicious articles and utensils to the residence.
The items have varied from reign to reign and include a cat symbolising good luck.
According to traditional Thai belief, a cat has nine lives and great night vision that can repel any maleficent forces. The grinding stone, a household utensil, is usually offered during the housewarming ceremony to signify stability. The green winter melon, regarded as a cool vegetable, represents pleasantness, while the assortment of grains refers to fertility.
King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit in the royal procession of the assumption of the royal residence on May 6, 1950.
Other objects may be added such as areca flowers signifying prosperity and a golden key symbolising ownership.
A flywhisk made from the tail hairs of a white elephant was first used in the ceremony of King Rama IV to signify his majesty, while a white hen, said to have multiple benefits, was added to that of King Rama VII.
Senior female members of the Royal Family will be in charge of preparing and blessing the canopy bed, which follows on from the service of benediction usually held in the residence prior to the coronation ceremony.
THE COUNTRY LOOKS ON
The live broadcast in English of the coronation ceremony from May 4 to 6 can be followed on the |following channels:
TV: NBT World
Radio: FM 88 MHz
Live streaming: http://thainews.prd.go.th/en/live
Application: NBT World for Android