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Thousands in Thailand visit Grand Palace to say farewell


10-14-2016 21:25 BJT

Full coverage: King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej Passes Away

Thailand's Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn has asked to be allowed to observe a period of mourning before ascending to the throne following the death of his father, King Bhumibol. It was expected that the interim parliament would announce Vajiralongkorn's appointment as king on Thursday, but Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the Crown Prince will occupy the throne when he is ready. From the Grand Palace in Bangkok, CCTV's Tony Cheng has this report. 

Mourners gather outside the grand palace in Bangkok, coming to pay their last respects to King Bhumipol, who passed away on Thursday afternoon. 

And after a reign that spanned seven decades on the throne, it was hard from some to say goodbye… 

Thousand of people queuing up.....this is the last chance to pay their respects.

"All Thai people are sorry that he passed because his goodness was immeasurable. There is no King in the world who works harder than he did," said a local resident.

"I was impressed by everything he did…but the image I always have of the King, is when he was sitting down, and talking with his people," said another local resident.

Overcome with emotion…or the sweltering heat…but many of those present looked drained and tired…This is a loss which will weigh heavily for many Thais. Security was also tight.

The death of the King has been anticipated as a time of some political uncertainty, and the military government is keen to show the succession will be smooth.

Across the kingdom media outlets went black and white, all channels playing tributes to their former monarch.

Although normal programming will resume at midnight, the official period of mourning will be twelve months. 

The Prime Minister was also leading official tributes to the King. 

He’s asked private individuals to use their discretion when it comes to the mourning period, but its likely to cast a shadow over Thailand for months to come.

And in the afternoon, the final journey….as the casket bearing King Bhumipols body was transported from Siriraj hospital, to the Grand Palace.

Here he will lie in State, until arrangements for his funeral are complete… A funeral that may well not conclude until the end of next year.

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