Funeral for beloved Thai king a 5-day marathon of solemnity

The funeral for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej will take place over five days and will be governed by strict protocols for how the public and media conduct themselves.

The detailed prescriptions for appearance and behavior show a particular concern for what images of Thailand and its royals are circulated during and after the elaborate ceremonies, which include Bhumibol's cremation on Thursday evening.

Thais are known for a highly emotional adulation of Bhumibol, which palace officials assiduously cultivated over the seven decades of his reign, but the funeral will be an intensely somber event, intentionally drained of possibilities for spontaneity.

Only state-controlled TV can provide a live broadcast, and police have prohibited screen-printing of pictures of Bhumibol and his magnificent golden-colored cremation pyre on T-shirts and the like.