BANGKOK: The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim will represent Malaysia during the Royal Cremation Ceremony for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, according to Thailand’s Foreign Ministry.
The Royal Cremation Ceremony will last for five days starting this Wednesday, with the actual cremation slated for Thursday.
Besides Malaysia, the ministry has also confirmed the attendance of other foreign royal families to the Royal Cremation Ceremony including Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Ashi Jetsun Pema Wangchuck.
Prince Akishino from Japan, King Letsie III (Lesotho), King Tupou VI (Tonga), Queen Mathilde (Belgium), Queen Sofia (Spain), Crown Prince Frederik (Denmark), Crown Prince Haakon Magnus (Norway) and Prince Andrew Duke of York (United Kingdom) will also attend.
Other foreign leaders and Head of States who will attend the historic ceremony include Halimah Yaacob (Singapore), Sir Peter Cosgrove (Australia), Hun Sen (Cambodia), James M.Mattis (United States), Bounnhang Vorachith (Laos) and Alan Peter S.Cayetano (Philippines).
At present, 14 members of foreign royal families, as well as 18 world leaders and head of states, have confirmed their presence for the ceremony, according to the ministry.
The Thai government has estimated more than 250,000 people will throng roads near the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang which housed the ceremonial ground to witness the Royal Cremation Ceremony.
The historic event will begin on Wednesday’s evening with the royal merit-making ceremony in preparation for moving the Royal Urn to the Royal Crematorium at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground.
The cremation ceremony will continue on Thursday starting at 7am (local time) with the procession carrying the Royal Urn from the Grand Palace to the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground. The actual cremation is scheduled to start at 10pm (local time).
Thursday has been declared as a public holiday in Thailand to enable mourners to attend the ceremony. Shops and entertainment outlets are also expected to shut their operation on that auspicious day as a mark of respect for the ceremony.
The Royal Cremation Ceremony will continue on Friday and Saturday will be and completed on Sunday, Oct 29 when the Royal Ashes are transferred to be enshrined at two temples, Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Bovoranives.
The conclusion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony will also mark the end of the year-long mourning period in Thailand.
The late King Bhumipol, 89, the ninth king of Chakri Dynasty passed away on Oct 13 last year after reigning for 70 years on the throne. His only son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended to the throne last year following his death.
His coronation is expected to take place later this year. — Bernama