As of yore, royal processions on land were composed of elephants, horses and troops marching, all of them organized into three divisions, the forward detachment, the centre section, and the rear guard. The centre section was the most important, bearing the monarch’s regalia such as the Great White Umbrella of State, the Whisk and the Fan, among others. Their bearers were followed by the royal police guards and the chamberlains carrying arms, drums, conches, xylophones and the royal palanquin such as the Phra Thinang Rachentarayan or PhraThinang Phuttan Thong thrones. The household guards, bearing a Sword of Victory each, marched at the four corners of the royal palanquin, They are surrounded by high-ranking officials, royal guards and household guards. Completing the centre section were household guards bearing the Diamond Spear.
The royal procession on land was modified and rearranged by the late chief of the navy in the reign of Rama VII, H.R.H. Prince Nakhon Sawan Woraphinit, into four sections, as it has been adopted to this day.
In the present reign of Rama IX, two royal processions on land were held. The first event was on the occasion of the coronation in the year 1950. H. M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, seated on the royal palanquin Phuttan Thong, proceeded from the Amarin Winitchai Throne Hall to “Wat Phra Kaeo”, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The second such event took place on 7 December 1963, in celebration of the 3rd cycle birthday anniversary of H. M. the King. The King proceeded to pay homage to Phra Buddha Chinarat at Wat Bowon Niwet Wihan. Since then, a royal procession on land has not been repeated.
Taken from: Thailand: Traits and Treasures. The National Identity Board, Royal Thai Government 2005.
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