The whole Thai Kingdom pauses to pay a final tribute to Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana, who has left this world for good.
The people have united to pay their last respects to Her Royal Highness during the royal cremation ceremony, between 8 and 12 April 2012. The royal cremation ceremony takes place more than eight months after the passing away of the Princess.
Her Royal Highness was admitted to Siriraj Hospital for blood infection on 13 July 2011. Despite the medical team's best efforts, her condition deteriorated, and on July 27, the Princess passed away peacefully, aged 85.
Following the symbolic royal cremation and the actual royal cremation of the remains of Princess Bejaratana perfromed by Their Majesties the King and Queen at 16.30 hr and 22.00 hr on April 9 at the Royal Crematorium at the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, representing His Majesty the King, is scheduled to arrive at the Royal Crematorium at 08.00 hr on April 10 for the collection of the royal relics and ashes. The royal relics will be transferred to Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall within the Grand Palace, while the royal ashes will be transferred to Phra Si Rattana Chedi within the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Representing His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at 16.30 hr on April 11 performed a merit-making ceremony for the royal relics at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall.
At 10.30 hr on April 12, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, representing His Majesty the King, performed a merit-making ceremony at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall. Then the royal relics will be transferred from Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall to be enshrined at the Heavenly Abode at Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall, also in the Grand Palace. At 16.30 hr on the same day, the royal ashes will be transferred from Phra Si Rattana Chedi to be enshrined at Saovabha Praditsathan in Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram.
The royal cremation ceremony is indeed one of the rarest and most historic events ever held in Thailand, and it involves a lengthy series of events, dictated by age-old tradition. It is no longer a private royal function confined to the Royal Family. Thai people from all over the country may participate in the ceremony to show gratitude to the institution of the monarchy.
Regarded as a senior member of the Royal Family, Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana gave so much of herself to the Thai people. She represented His Majesty the King at various functions and performed many duties. The only daughter of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), and the first cousin of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Princess Bejaratana gave an admirable example to follow in her remarkable life.