Royal cremation ceremony of the late King Bhumibol Aduladej
An estimated 250,000 Thai citizens have lined the streets of the captial, Bangkok, to pay their final respects to their late King.
A symbolic funeral urn was taken by chariot to the site of the cremation, in an elaborate procession accompanied by traditional flute music, drums and an artillery salute, which marks the main part of a five-day ceremony.
Many buildings are adorned with yellow marigold flowers, whilst crowds of mourners hold images of their beloved monarch and are dressed in black as a sign of respect.
The funeral officially started on Wednesday 25th October, with a merit-making ceremony, an important Buddhist rite, in the Grand Palace.
Today, a series of Buddhist rites began in the royal palace ahead of the procession and the late king will be cremated later in a royal pyre to be lit by his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The chariot carrying the urn in the second part of the procession has been used since the 18th century. It was pulled by a team of more than 200 soldiers. The urn was then carried 3 times around the cremation site for the last leg of procession.
The highly revered King Bhumibol died in October 2016 aged 88. He was the world's longest serving constitutional monarch and played a uniquely pivotal roe at the centre of national life.
During years of political turmoil and the race to modernise Thailnd, which saw numerous coups and attempted coups, he was seen as a consistent, selfless presence and a symbol of national unity.
He developed an extraordinary rapport with ordinary people and would spend mosty of every year travelling between a series of royal palaces. From these palaces he would go deep into the countrysidemeeting local people, visiting rural projects or entertaining local dignitaries.
He also led numerous development programmes in the poorest parts of the country and funded many of them from his own private funds.
I could spend all-dy listing his achievements and talking about his legacy, but for now I would simply like to extend my sympathies and best wishes to all my Thai friends, colleagues and to the population as a whole
Long live the King......
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