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.