Funeral pyre for Princess Galyani’s funeral now complete
According to Thai television, the design for the funeral pyre for Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand has been completed and is ready to be submitted to government officials by the Thailand Culture Ministry.
A government committee set up for this purpose will review the design, which was designed by Group Captain Aryuth Ngernchuklin, a national artist from Thailand. If the design is acceptable, it will then be submitted to the King of Thailand for approval.
The Princess died on Wednesday January 2nd, 2008 at the age of 84. She will be cremated on a day chosen by the King after the 100 days of mourning is completed.
Princess Galyani, who was the King of Thailand’s sister, is currently lying in state in Bangkok at the Grand Palace and will remain there during the 100 days of mourning, as the King of Thailand requested.
The Grand Palace is open to the public every day, so that they can pay their respects right up to when Princess Galyani’s funeral is held.
Thousands of Thais have already done so with many thousands more expected in the coming months. All over Thailand, at shopping malls and government buildings, there are also condolence books that can be signed by the general public.
Meanwhile, the Thailand Fine Arts Department has asked for a budget of $200 million baht (almost US $6 million) to construct buildings for the royal cremation. They have worked on a design that is based on old Thai traditions of the three worlds – earth, heaven and hell.
There will be several structures built, including entertainment halls and pavilions. The construction of the buildings is expected to take 3 to 4 months. Construction will not begin however until the King has approved the designs.
Royal chariots will also be used for the funeral ceremony and one of them will carry the urn that holds the Princesses ashes, once the cremation has taken place.
A chariot which was built in the reign of King Rama I, (1782-1809), the Wechayanratcharot chariot, will probably be the chariot used to carry the urn. The royal funeral processions are some of the most beautiful events ever to be held in Thailand, as many traditional Thai chariots will be used in the procession.
Princess Galyani is the first member of the Thai immediate Royal Family to die since the Princess Mother (her mother) died in 1995, so this is a significant event in Thailand.
All over Bangkok, large framed paintings of Princess Galyani have been set up, so Thai people can pay tribute. Street sellers are also selling photographs, calendars, and commemorative books about the Princess, so that people can remember her.
Thai people are wearing either black or white clothing. Both are acceptable in Thai culture as colors of mourning. The King requested all Thai people mourn for 15 days, while government officials are expected to mourn for the full 100 day period.
A date has not been set yet for Princess Galyani’s funeral, but it will be attended by hundreds of thousands of people and will also be televised on national television.
Thai people hold their Royal Family in high esteem and Princess Galyani was highly respected not only because she was a member of the Thai Royal Family, but also because of the enormous amount of work she did for various Thai charities.
On the day of Princess Galyani’s funeral, a Thai national holiday will be declared, and the nation will come to a standstill as they pay their respects to a woman who was much loved and will be missed.