“We shall reign with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people.”
On May 5, 1950 King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned Rama IX of Thailand, the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty. The royal coronation ceremony was first performed in the Grand Palace in Bangkok, four years after he assumed his kingship in 1946. After becoming King Rama IX at the age of 18, His Majesty returned to Switzerland to resume his studies at the University of Lausanne. He returned to Thailand in 1950, when the royal coronation ceremony took place. By tradition, the royal coronation ceremony signifies the official recognition of the ruling monarch by the Thai people.
At that traditional coronation ceremony, His Majesty pronounced the traditional Oath of Accession: “We shall reign with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people.” Thailand’s revered King made a rare public appearance on Monday 5th May to mark the 64th anniversary of his coronation on Coronation Day. This celebration of the King’s reign is known in Thai as Wan Chatramongkhol and involves religious and civil ceremonies over a three-day period. King Bhumibol is the world’s longest-reigning monarch and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.
He is a father figure for Thais and was greeted by a sea of yellow – his signature colour – as his vehicle passed through Hua Hin, where he has lived since leaving a Bangkok hospital last August. Thousands of people took to the streets to wave flags and shout “Song Phra Chareon”. Translated this is “long live the King”, a sentiment expressed fondly by people nationwide. His Majesty granted an audience to members of the Royal Family and government officials at Rajapracha Samakhom Pavilion within the Klai Kangwol Palace. A short service was held with Monks from throughout the kingdom leading prayers. After the religious ceremony, the King graciously assigned His Royal Highness Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn to preside over a Brahmin ceremony celebrating the Throne. The royal coronation ceremony was formalised as a royal court tradition in the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. He based the ceremony on the ancient royal tradition adopted from India, which specified five principal royal regalia as the symbols of kingship.
The royal coronation ceremony was adapted in 1950 to suit conditions of the country in the post-war period, and, more importantly, to be in harmony with the spirit of the democratic era. The Television Pool of Thailand broadcast the ceremonies and twelve large LCD screens were installed on Phetchakasem Road near the palace for well-wishers to watch proceedings. The landscape around the Klai Kangwol Palace displayed decorations along both sides of Phetchakasem Road, from Hua Hin Airport to the Hua Hin Municipality Market. Flags and portraits of His Majesty the King were also displayed.
Medical teams, water and snacks were also ready to help well-wishers cope with a hot day out in the sun. Looks of admiration and delight were very evident on the faces of everyone paying their respects, many of whom had travelled from places distant from Hua Hin to be a part of the coronation experience first-hand. Two days after Coronation Day, His Majesty again left the Klai Kangwon Palace to revisit the Chang Hua Mun project in Phetchaburi Province.
This royal visit on May 7th was to follow the progress of the agricultural demonstration farm which he established in 2009 using royal funds. During the visit, His Majesty paid particular interest to the dairy cow project which he has previously visited since moving from Siriraj Hospital to Klai Kangwon Palace in August last year. On this occasion, His Majesty milked a month-old calf and visited a cow which had just given birth to a bull calf the previous day, raising the number of cattle, all Holstein Friesians, to 34.
Chang Hua Mun project has served as a demonstration farm to provide knowledge on animal husbandry and cash crop cultivation to farmers. At present about 1,000 young farmers and agricultural students from nationwide visit the farm daily. Produces from the project are supplied to Golden Place shops nationwide. His Majesty spent over two hours at the Project before returning to Klai Kangwon Palace.