Schedule for Royal Cremation & Tour of Crematorium

March 15, 2012

Construction of the royal crematorium for Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana has been 90% completed. The Fine Arts Department is accelerating decoration work, so that it will be completed by the end of March, in time for the royal cremation ceremony on the 9th April 2012. The crematorium is located at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground [map], a large open park in front of the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.

Among other related structures are the royal merit-making pavilion, or Phra Thinang Songtham; the government officials’ pavilions, or Sala Luk Khun; pavilions describing the boundary of the ceremonial site, or Thap Kaset; the court officials’ pavilions, or Thim; the ceremonial fence, or Ratchawat; and the elevated royal halls, or Phlapphla Yok. Rehearsals for various processions of honor accompanying the royal urn will be held on 18 & 25 March, while the major rehearsal is scheduled for 31 March.

The royal cremation ceremony for Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana will be held for five days, from 8th to 12th April 2012. The royal cremation day will be 9th April, which has been declared a public holiday by the Cabinet. The three-day mourning period is scheduled for 8th-10th April.  The late princess’ ashes will be collected on the morning after the 9th April cremation and escorted to Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall. On 12th April, a ceremony will be held to mark the ashes’ permanent placement in the Throne Hall.

Three stages will be set up for entertainment arranged in accordance with royal traditions to honor the Princess. The performers will perform non-stop from 7 p.m. on 9th April  to 6 a.m. of 10th April. The main stage at the foot of Phra Pinklao Bridge will show Khon or traditional Thai mask dance drama. The show on the second stage in front of the Supreme Court will consist of puppet shows and other traditional performances. The third stage set in front of Thammasat University will feature a live symphony orchestra from Chulalongkorn University and other bands.

The main pavilion, crematorium and other buildings will be open for the public to visit on 11th-17th April. A permanent exhibition in honour of the late princess will be installed at Nakhon Pathom’s Sanam Chandra Palace, which was built by King Rama VI.

Photos by Public Relations Department of the Royal Thai Government. Information from The Nation, PRD Royal Thai Government and NNT.

10 Responses to Schedule for Royal Cremation & Tour of Crematorium

  1. shlomo adler on March 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Do you know
    About visiting the Grand Palace
    on the Days of the ceremony

    • Richard Barrow on March 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      They always do their best effort to keep the place open for tourists. It is hardly ever completely close. You might just find a few areas closed to the public.

  2. Arthur Walters on March 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

    i just received an email from my tour guide who i scheduled with for april 9th and was just informed by the tour guide that the palace and surrounding streets will be closed. is this true?

    will all other wats and sites be closed as well?

    • Richard Barrow on March 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

      I will get this confirmed with you shortly. It is true some streets will be closed for the funeral procession on the 9th April. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot be there. Thousands of Thais will line the streets on this day. Foreigners are welcome to observe. At this moment, I am not sure how much of the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha will be closed. Usually they try and keep the place open for tourists but you will definitely find some areas off limits. As for other temples around Bangkok, there will be ceremonies at one temple in each district for the cremation. I don’t have a list. But I am sure this won’t mean you cannot visit those other temples. As soon as I get anything more confirmed I will post here.

  3. Richard Barrow on March 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I just rang the Royal Household Bureau and they said that they haven’t received a schedule yet for opening times during the funeral. They said it won’t be all closed. I will let you know as soon as I know of any times of closure.

  4. Arthur Walters on March 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm


  5. mitch wilenchik on March 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Does anyone know the time of day for the “grand rehersal” on March 31st??

    • Richard Barrow on March 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      No, but I plan to go myself, so I will inform you as soon as I find out!

    • Richard Barrow on March 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      I’m told that the rehearsals start from 7 a.m. but that could be “Thai time”

  6. Richard Barrow on April 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I have just found out that the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha will be CLOSED during the funeral. The dates are: 9, 10, 11 and 12 April 2012. However, it will be open for a short time on the morning of the 11th. It will then re-open as normal during Songkran.

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