Thailand Prepares for Coronation

Thailand is gearing up for three days of elaborate ceremonies, beginning Saturday, when 66-year old King Maha Vajiralongkorn will be officially crowned.

The coronation is estimated to cost at least $30 million.

For many Thais, it will be their first opportunity to experience a coronation.

King Vajiralongkorn’s late father, King Bhumibol Aduyade, who died in 2016, was crowned in 1950.

The coronation will be broadcast on television.

King Vajiralongkorn took the crown after his father’s death, but will now be officially installed.

The king will meet the public and foreign dignitaries on Monday, which has been declared a public holiday.

While Thailand’s constitutional monarchy wields limited political power, most Thais revere their royals as near-deities. Strict lese-majeste laws also render the king virtually unassailable and perceived slights have landed many in court or jail.

On Wednesday, King Vajiralongkorn announced his fourth marriage to his former bodyguard who was once a flight attendant. The king appointed her Queen Suthida.

The king has seven children from his three marriages.

Source: Voice of America