Thai king greets crowd of flag-waving subjects on final day of coronation
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn greeted thousands of his subjects from a balcony of his Grand Palace on Monday, the third and final day of coronation ceremonies.
The king and queen were greeted with a band playing the royal anthem and a 21-gun salute.
The monarch and new Queen Suthida waved to a big crowd wearing yellow, the colour associated with the king, and waving flags in a royal audience, a day after a grand procession through Bangkok.
The three branches of the armed forces saluted the king before the prime minister led the crowd in chanting “Long live the king!”.
The coronation started on Saturday, after a long period of official mourning for the king’s revered father, who died in October 2016 having reigned for 70 years.
On Sunday, the king was carried through the streets on a gilded palanquin for the royal procession. Well-wishers, all wearing yellow, gathered from early morning along the 7 km (4 mile) route from the Grand Palace to three royal temples.
Later on Monday, which has been declared a national holiday, the king will meet diplomats.
Since becoming king 18 months ago, Vajiralongkorn has moved to consolidate the authority of the monarchy, including taking more direct control of the crown’s vast wealth with the help of the military government.