Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn crowned in elaborate three-day celebration

Updated 10:05 PM EDT, Sat May 4, 2019
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(CNN) —  

Thailand has crowned its new king in a $31 million three-day celebration that comes almost 69 years to the day since the last coronation.

The coronation of 66-year-old King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun kicked off on Saturday, more than two years after he ascended the throne following the death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was widely beloved and revered.

King Vajiralongkorn received a white, nine-tier umbrella as part of an hours-long ceremony, which marked the moment he became a fully-fledged King. Only a consecrated king is allowed to sit on a throne under the umbrella, which represents the King’s connection with heaven.

The King wore a 7.3 kilogram (16 lb) crown and was bathed with holy water during parts of the ceremony, which featured incense, yellow flowers and auspicious oils.

He also delivered his first royal command as King, saying, “I shall continue, preserve, and build upon the royal legacy and shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the people forever.”