Monday, January 07, 2008

King allows commoners to host funeral rites


King allows commoners to host funeral rites

His Majesty the King has allowed aristocrats, state agencies and the general public to host funeral rites for Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, the Royal Household Bureau said yesterday.

Following the seven-day royal ceremony, the funeral rites will be held every Wednesday until the 100-day memorial ceremony, which falls on April 11, according to the bureau's public relations bulletin released yesterday.

The Royal Family, aristocrats and government agencies can host the weekly funeral rites.

Members of the public can host the daily rites, which start from April 12 and run until the royal cremation ceremony.

Interested groups, organisations and associations can get more information from the bureau's secretariat by calling 0-2224-3273 or 0-2224-3333.

The general public can pay their respects to the Princess' body at the Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall this Thursday from 2-4pm and from 9am-4pm on Friday.

Getting ready

A souvenir shop owner measures a woman wishing to rent a black dress before entering the Grand Palace to pay her respects at a funeral ceremony for Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana yesterday. — WEERAWONG WONGPREEDEE

Proper attire in black or white is required. Hilltribe people can wear ethnic clothing. Women are asked to wear skirts or sarongs. Denim skirts and pants are prohibited.

The Royal Medical Division yesterday set up booths outside the Grand Palace to take care of mourners at the request of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who has expressed concern for the wellbeing of people who come to pay their respects to the late Princess.

Large numbers of people have been buying black clothing at shops in the capital to wear during the 15-day mourning period and to prepare for the funeral ceremony at the Grand Palace.

Vendors at the Victory Monument said yesterday that black clothing, especially working suits for women, were selling like hot cakes. However, they said the prices remained unchanged.

In Trang, a clothing shop owner said black shirts and suits had been sold out since Jan 3, one day after the Princess passed away. Most customers were state officials and employees who needed to wear black for 15 days.

Wuthichat Kalayanamit, the managing director of the state-owned Transport Company Ltd, said there would be enough buses for people travelling from the provinces to Bangkok to participate in the royal cremation later this year.

The cremation ceremony will be held after the funeral rites, which will last at least 100 days.

The Fine Arts Department is cleaning and decorating a royal palanquin to take the Princess' body to the cremation ceremony at Sanam Luang.

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