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  ‘King of people’ takes last ride

‘King of people’ takes last ride

AFP
Published : Oct 15, 2016, 7:12 am IST
Updated : Oct 15, 2016, 7:12 am IST

Massive crowds of weeping Thais and saluting soldiers lined the streets on Friday as late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was borne through Bangkok, a day after his death left an apprehensive country facing a

Massive crowds of weeping Thais and saluting soldiers lined the streets on Friday as late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was borne through Bangkok, a day after his death left an apprehensive country facing an uncertain future.

Bhumibol, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, passed away at 88 on Thursday after years of ill health, ending seven decades as a stabilising figure in a nation of deep political divisions.

 

The phenomenal reverence towards him in Thailand was on clear display as mourners sat for hours in Bangkok’s urban heat awaiting the passage of his motorcade, in scenes reminiscent of religious devotees.

Pensive-looking men and women dressed in black were jammed cheek by jowl along roadsides in the capital on the short route from the hospital where Bhumibol died to his royal palace.

Some fainted and were carried away on stretchers, while others shouted “King of the people!” zaas the convoy of several vans bearing his body and the royal family slowly wheeled through hushed streets.

The king ruled 70 years and was the only monarch most Thais knew. “We no longer have him,” said a weeping Phongsri Chompoonuch, 77, as she clutched the late monarch's portrait. “I don’t know what will come next.”

 

Location: Thailand, Bangkok