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Elaborate 5-day funeral ends for Thailand’s revered king

October 29, 2017

In this Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, photo, participants march in religious rituals to move the ashes of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, following a royal cremation ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand’s new king led a royal merit-making ceremony for his late father’s relics on Saturday, the fourth day of an elaborate five-day funeral. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK (AP) — The relics and ashes of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej were enshrined in the royal palace and two temples on Sunday, ending an elaborate five-day funeral for a widely revered monarch who reigned for seven decades.

In the final act of the funeral ceremony, broadcast live nationwide and led by new King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Bhumibol’s ashes were transferred from the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to two royal temples.

In an earlier ceremony at Bangkok’s Grand Palace, Bhumibol’s relics were escorted to Chakri Maha Prasad Throne Hall, where he used to host dinners, receptions and receive the credentials of foreign ambassadors. There, the golden urn of Rama IX — as the king of the Chakri dynasty is known — was interned in the Heavenly Abode, joining the relics of Kings Rama IV, V, VI, VII and VIII.

Bhumibol’s Oct. 13, 2016, death at age 88 sparked a national outpouring of grief for a monarch who was regarded by many Thais as a father figure. Yet it also ushered in a sense of uncertainty for people who had grown used to Bhumibol serving as a unifying presence in a country regularly beset by political upheaval.

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