Bangkok: Thai King’s funeral procession arrives at the Grand Palace

Updated 9:37 AM EDT, Fri October 14, 2016
Ripley Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies Thai reaction_00014213.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
Ripley Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies Thai reaction_00014213.jpg
Now playing
02:48
Thais mourn long time king
The Royal Urn is carried in the Royal Chariot during the funeral procession for the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok on October 26, 2017.
A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok
PHOTO: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Royal Urn is carried in the Royal Chariot during the funeral procession for the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's historic heart early on October 26 as funeral rituals began for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven-decade reign has left Thailand bereft of its only unifying figure. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:32
Thai king's lavish cremation ceremony
Supporters of Thailand
PHOTO: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej react as they pray at Siriraj Hospital, where the king is being treated, in Bangkok on October 13, 2016. Well-wishers kept up their vigil outside a Bangkok hospital on October 13, offering prayers for ailing King Bhumibol Adulyadej as Thailand faces the prospect of losing its figure of unity in a deeply polarized nation. / AFP / MUNIR UZ ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:09
Thailand mourns King's death: 'He is our father'
This handout photo shows Thai King Bumibhol Adulyadej lighting candles at a ceremony performed by 20 senior monks at the Grand Palace to mark Coronation day, in Bangkok, 04 May 2007.  King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world
PHOTO: STR/AFP/Getty Images
This handout photo shows Thai King Bumibhol Adulyadej lighting candles at a ceremony performed by 20 senior monks at the Grand Palace to mark Coronation day, in Bangkok, 04 May 2007. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world's longest-reigning monarch. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE AFP PHOTO/HO/ROYAL BUREAU (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:17
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand dies
Women hold portraits of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as they pray for his health at Siriraj Hospital, where the king is being treated, in Bangkok on October 12, 2016.
PHOTO: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Women hold portraits of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as they pray for his health at Siriraj Hospital, where the king is being treated, in Bangkok on October 12, 2016.
Now playing
04:00
Thai people turn out to show support for king
(FILES) In this file photo taken late on February, 27, 2010, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej holds the leash of his dog while sitting in a wheelchair at a hospital in Bangkok. A Thai faces prison after being charged with lese majeste for insulting the king
PHOTO: AFP/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) In this file photo taken late on February, 27, 2010, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej holds the leash of his dog while sitting in a wheelchair at a hospital in Bangkok. A Thai faces prison after being charged with lese majeste for insulting the king's dog, his lawyer said on December 15, 2015, in an escalation of the already draconian royal defamation law. Thanakorn Siripaiboon, 27, has been charged by police with lese majeste for a "satirical" Facebook post about the king and his dog, lawyer Pawinee Chumsri told AFP. AFP PHOTO / FILESAFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:51
Man could face prison time for insulting King's dog

Story highlights

The King's body arrives at the Grand Palace

Mourners line the route of the procession

King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended the throne 70 years ago

(CNN) —  

Thais were bidding a final farewell to their revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej as his funeral procession made its way through Bangkok on Friday.

His body was transported from Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital to the Grand Palace, where his funeral rites will be carried out.

Here’s the latest:

• The King’s body and his family traveled by motorcade to the Grand Palace, where mourners had claimed spaces to watch the historic event. Many had been camped out since midnight.

• Grieving Thais and Thai military personnel put their hands together in a sign of respect as the vehicle carrying the procession passed them.

• Media broadcasts ceased while the King’s body underwent a bathing ceremony.

100 monks are due to chant special prayers during a religious ceremony, taking place at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace.

Thais line route for procession

The procession left the hospital at 5:34 p.m local time with Somdej Phrawannarat, a much-revered monk, in the first vehicle. Phrawannarat is a leader at a Buddhist temple that is important to the King’s Chakri Dynasty. A line of nurses pressed their hands together and bid the King a final farewell as his body was transported to the Grand Palace.

A motorcade carries the body of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej
PHOTO: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images
A motorcade carries the body of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej's to his palace in Bangkok on October 14, 2016.

Thousands of Thais dressed in black thronged the streets as the funeral procession – consisting of several vehicles flanked by security personnel – made its way to the Grand Palace. A police spokesman told CNN that he estimated over a hundred thousand people had showed up at the Grand Palace to witness the King’s funeral ceremony. The vehicle transporting the King arrived at the Grand Palace at 5:59 p.m local time.

At the palace, the King’s body was due to undergo a funeral bathing ceremony – a traditional rite in Buddhist culture – attended only by members of the Thai royal family.

Thai army personel line up a street ahead of a procession for Thailand
PHOTO: MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images
Thai army personel line up a street ahead of a procession for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej from Siriraj Hospital to the royal palace in Bangkok on October 14, 2016.

Earlier in the day, Thais had also lined up for the opportunity to pour water on a portrait of the King inside the palace grounds – a way for the masses to simulate the symbolic royal bathing of the King’s body.

“This is an important moment in my country’s history,” said 36-year-old Anon Pairot, who was one of those that attended the public gathering.

“I wanted to be a part of it and join other Thais as we mourn our King.”

Thai people attend royal bathing ceremony at The Grand Palace.
PHOTO: Borja Sanchez Trillo/Getty Images
Thai people attend royal bathing ceremony at The Grand Palace.

Others had camped out even earlier to witness the historic procession.

“I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to sit around at home, I had to do something as I was feeling so sad,” says Patarapong Chankaw, 28, who had been at the Grand Palace since 5 a.m local time. “So I came to the grand palace to be with other mourners.”

Sun rises without a King

As dawn broke Friday, the streets were awash with grief as the reality of the Thursday evening passing of the King began to set in.

The tide of pink and yellow of the past few days, worn as a show of support for his majesty, has now made way for a sea of black.

Friday has been declared a public holiday for government offices by the Thai cabinet, according to an announcement on state television.

Some of the normally bustling streets of Bangkok were quiet as somber Thais set out on their morning commutes.

Hundreds of people had for days gathered at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital where the king was being treated, and as the sun began to set, the crowd swelled into the thousands.

READ MORE: Tributes pour in for Thai King

Nearby Charoen Krung Road, one of the city’s oldest thoroughfares, was packed with mourners.

Janet Osbourne, who was visiting Bangkok from the UK, told CNN she thought the scene was “remarkable to witness.”

“It’s quite sad to see, clearly the people of Thailand had so much respect for their king,” she said. “As as tourist, I think it’s important to respect the nation as it grieves.”

On Bangkok’s Skytrains, digital screens which normally show loud advertisements were turned off.

But Bangkok is carrying on with its regular routines as much as possible.

READ MORE: King was peacemaker at times of crisis in Thailand

Many businesses are operating as normal – the public holiday is discretionary for private companies. Open restaurants have their televisions tuned to royal documentaries, which are airing on all channels.

What comes next

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was appointed the King’s successor in 1972, but exactly when the Crown Prince will ascend to the throne is yet to be announced.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said “he needs time to jointly mourn with Thai people.”