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BANGKOK – The Latest on the funeral of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej (all times local):
An elaborate royal procession for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulayadej has reached the site of his specially built crematorium, where the ceremonial urn will be carried inside the site in another of the intensely solemn funeral rituals.
The chants of monks mixed with the beat of royal drummers as a golden chariot carrying an urn meant to symbolize Bhumibol's remains arrived at the cremation grounds, built next to the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The sound of artillery could be heard fired in the distance.
Bhumibol's remains will be cremated on Thursday evening within a golden-spired crematorium built over a year and representing mystical Mount Meru, where Buddhist and Hindu gods are believed to dwell.
Members of Thailand's royal family are leading an elaborate procession for King Bhumibol Adulayadej's funeral ceremonies. Soldiers dressed in traditional uniforms are carrying a symbolic urn around the Grand Palace as they make their way to royal crematorium in Bangkok.
Bodies of royals are traditionally kept in such urns, but Bhumibol and his late mother and sister opted for their remains to be placed in coffins instead.
Thursday's procession was also attended by Thailand's junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha. A band played songs composed by the late king, while artillery guns were fired in the distance. The elaborate, somber processions will be followed by the cremation Thursday evening.
Thousands of mourners watched the funeral ceremony for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej from two large video screens set up near a replica of the royal crematorium near a Bangkok monument to an earlier monarch.
Some were in tears at the viewing location near the King Rama V monument Thursday morning as they watched Buddhist monks and current King Maha Vajiralongkorn take part in prayer rituals inside the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall ahead of the somber processions to the crematorium.
A total of 85 replicas of the royal crematorium were built nationwide for those who cannot travel to the capital to witness the cremation ceremony. Nine of the replicas are in Bangkok.
A royal ceremony to begin moving the remains of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej to his spectacular golden crematorium has begun in the royal quarter of Bangkok.
The ceremony will be followed by three separate and intensely solemn processions involving thousands of troops, a golden palanquin, a chariot and a royal gun carriage to move the royal urn representing Bhumibol's remains from the Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall to the crematorium. Thursday's journey along a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) route will take at least three hours and is being watched by tens of thousands of mourners dressed all in black.
Thais have braved tropical heat and torrential downpours to secure street-side vantage points to witness the funeral, which is spread over five days.
Deceased Thai royals have traditionally been kept upright in elaborate urns during official mourning. But Bhumibol, who spent much of his early life in the West, opted to be put in a coffin, with the urn placed next to it for devotional purposes.