BANGKOK – Tens of thousands of mourners have paid their respects to Thailand's late king at the Grand Palace where his body has been kept before the cremation. A different kind of visitor appeared in front of the palace gates Tuesday.
Some 200 mahouts leading nine, specially chosen white elephants and two white-painted elephants arrived at the palace from around the country.
The tusked giants and their riders kneeled in front of the palace gates in a sign of respect for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej while the royal anthem was played on a lone trumpet.
Mourners waiting to enter the palace cried as they witnessed the elephants' prostrating.
In Thailand, the white elephant is regarded as sacred and a symbol of royal power.