Royals from around the world converge to fete His Majesty the King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, center left, and Queen Sirikit, center right,
pose with the visiting representatives of 25 royal houses from Europe,
Africa, the Middle East and Thailand’s Asian neighbors in the elaborate
century-old high-ceilinged Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok Monday,
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, is congratulated by Sweden’s King Carl XVI
Gustaf, 2nd from left, and Queen Silvia as HM Queen Sirikit looks on at the
Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, 2nd from left, is congratulated by Belgian Crown Prince
Philippe and Crown Princess Mathilde, right, as HM Queen Sirikit, left,
looks on at the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, 2nd from left, is congratulated by Cambodian King
Norodom Sihamoni as HM Queen Sirikit, left, looks on at the Ananda Samakhom
Throne Hall in Bangkok.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, is congratulated by Japanese Emperor Akihito,
center, as HM Queen Sirikit, 2nd from right partially hidden, and Japanese
Empress Michiko look on at the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, is congratulated by Malaysian King Syed
Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail as HM Queen Sirikit looks on at the Ananda
Samakhom Throne Hall.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, is congratulated by Moroccan Princess Lalla Salma
at the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, center, and HM Queen Sirikit, left, speak with
Britain’s Prince Andrew during a celebration in Bangkok.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, is congratulated by Monaco Prince Albert II as HM
Queen Sirikit looks on.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, observes Hereditary Prince Alois of
Liechteinstein greet HM Queen Sirikit at the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, is congratulated by Prince Henrik of Denmark at
the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, right, speaks with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at the
Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok.
Prince Andrew, left, walks with Luxembourg Grand Duke Henri as they arrive
for ceremonies Monday, June 12, at the Thai Navy headquarters in Bangkok.
(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, Pool)
King Mswati III, right, walks along with HRH Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn as he arrives at a military airport in Bangkok, Sunday, June
(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Rhythmic chants echoed over Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River
Monday as royalty from around the world watched a spectacular procession of
gilded, hand-rowed boats honoring HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, the
world’s longest-reigning monarch.
Representatives of 25 royal houses from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and
Asia watched from a riverside pavilion as the vessels - bows adorned with
figures of serpents, swans, a seven-headed dragon and other creatures -
As the sun broke through what had been an overcast day, the boats’ bows
glinted and the boat crews rowed to a haunting call-and-response song
written to honor the king.
Monday’s procession was just the 15th since HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
ascended the throne in 1946, but it belongs to a 300-year old tradition.
Royal Barge processions have marked coronations, Buddhist religious
ceremonies and secular holidays.
HM the King, a constitutional monarch, has used his strong prestige during
political crises to pressure opposing parties to compromise, and is credited
with helping keep Thailand more stable than many of its Southeast Asian
Many Thais are counting on him to pull the country through its current
political crisis, which has left it with no functioning legislature and only
a caretaker government after a divisive, inconclusive election.
HM the King was born on December 5, 1927, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where
his father Prince Mahidol was studying medicine. He became the ninth King of
Thailand’s Chakri Dynasty on June 9, 1946, succeeding his older brother HM
Since then, the beloved King has reigned through a score of governments,
democratic and dictatorial. He has taken an especially active role in rural
On Friday, an estimated 700,000 of his countrymen thronged the streets
around Bangkok’s Royal Plaza to hear him deliver a rare public address in
which he called for national unity.
He echoed that call Monday, when he hosted a reception for the royal
The responsibility to preserve the nation does not belong to any particular
person but to all Thais who must do their utmost to develop the country and
make it prosperous, stable and peaceful,” he said. “Therefore, I, as a
Thai, have the same responsibility as all Thais do.”
A grand formal reception before the barge show saw the foreign royals
escorted country by country to be welcomed by 78-year-old HM the King and
members of his family.
Those not wearing ceremonial uniforms or Western formal wear donned national
costumes, from Arab dignitaries’ flowing white garb to the orange robe
worn across one shoulder by the Crown Prince of Bhutan. Royal wives wore
elaborately tailored gowns, and several had tiaras atop their heads.
Greetings on the reception line ranged from curtseys and bows to
hand-kissing and extended handshakes. Spain’s Queen Sophia unexpectedly
pecked HM the King on the cheek as she greeted him.
The setting, a high-ceilinged hall, was as elaborate as the guests’
attire. Designed by Italian architects and built in the early years of the
last century, the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall has a huge dome and
The visitors heard a short speech by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who
said the king “has inspired the people to join hands for the country’s
betterment” with his moral authority and commitment to democracy, peace,
justice and national harmony.
“This unifying role has enabled Thailand to move forward for the past 60
years and will propel its further progress as a constructive member of the
international community in the years to come,” Thaksin said.
On Tuesday, HM the King and Queen Sirikit hosted a lavish banquet for
royalty from 25 countries to close out the five-day gala celebration.
Lobster and other delicacies, including produce from farming projects
sponsored by HM the King, reportedly featured in the five-course dinner at
Bangkok’s royal palace.
The royal guests come from Cambodia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Japan, Brunei,
Malaysia, Monaco, Luxembourg, Lesotho, Swaziland, Sweden, Liechtenstein,
Denmark, Tonga, Norway, the Netherlands, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Morocco,
Spain, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Oman.
Story by Grant Peck
The Associated Press
Photos/Thailand Public Relations Department, HO
|A look at the world’s longest-serving living monarchs
The Associated Press
A look at the world’s longest-serving living monarchs, in descending
- Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 78, has reigned since 1946
- Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, 80, ascended to the throne in 1952
- Samoa’s King Malietoa Tanumafili II, 93, has ruled since 1963
- Tonga’s King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, 87, has reigned since 1965
- Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, 59, has reigned since 1967
- Oman’s Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa’id, 65, has ruled since 1970
- Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, 66, has reigned since 1972
- Bhutan’s King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, 50, has reigned since 1972
- Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, 60, has reigned since 1973
- Spain’s King Juan Carlos, 68, ascended to the throne in 1975
- Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix, 68, ascended to the throne in 1980
- Swaziland’s King Mswati III, 38, ascended to the throne in 1986
- Japan’s Emperor Akihito, 72, ascended to the throne in 1989
- Liechtenstein’s Prince Hans-Adam II, 61, ascended to the throne in
- Norway’s King Harald V, 69, ascended to the throne in 1991
- Belgium’s King Albert II, 72, has reigned since 1993
The Musical Show “Wackadoo Zoo”
Photo: Nopniwat Krailerg
What is it that make us laugh? What is it that makes a situation seem funny
to us? Could it be the impossibility of cows that meow, lions that crow,
monkeys that bray, pigs that neigh and goats that say woof, woof?
On Thursday, 1st June, 2006,
students at Prem Tinsulanonda International School performed their first
ever production. Students from Kindergarten (age 3) to Grade 5 (age 12), all
190 of them, performed “Wackadoo Zoo”, a musical play written by Jill
Through music, song, dance, and script the students performed in characters
that featured these wacky animal friends at the zoo. As the story unfolded
we were introduced to 3 Professors of Linguistics who tried to correct the
animals “speech defects” in the most hilarious ways.
in the play were acting as Grandparents telling a story. Starring
Emily Nabnian and Richard Bell
This full scale production was directed by Justine Page,
also the Junior School Music Teacher. The planning for this massive
undertaking began in September last year only to culminate in the
performance last week. For the last two terms, the children have
participated in after school activities to learn acting, to design and make
the costumes, props and the set. Each of these areas were supported by a
number of teachers to help the children with their ideas and see it to
During the dress rehearsal other local Thai schools were invited to see the
play. The Baan Nong Pla Man School, Baan Nahuek School and Teerawat Bampen
School each came with their students for a visit to the “Wackadoo Zoo”.
The opening number of the play was performed by all the kinder children
singing “Daddy’s Taking Us to the Zoo Tomorrow” and the production
finished with two reprisals. It certainly left the audience with plenty of
laughter and smiles on their faces.
number 3, Nicole Hodgson
our performing goats: Andrew Thaibinh, Api Enders, Hyun Jai Sung, James Vose
and Alex Mohns
of the Production, Justine Page, giving a congratulatory and thank you
speech. Behind are: Khun Ju Narajitt (Junior School Secretary), Cecile
Poulin (Grade 3 Teacher and Acting Coach), Cheryl Penney (Choreography) and
Ellen Reid (Choreography and musician).
as members of Prem’s community: Basil McCall, Ram Magnusson
(Fundraising Committee), Lister Hannah (President of the Prem Center),
Justine Page (Director of Junior School Production and Junior School Music
Teacher), Murray Dickson Chiangmai Mail GM , David Baird (Head of School).
from Kindergarten 1/2/3 singing their song “Daddy’s Taking Us to the Zoo
end of a song, the pigs and goats perform their choreographed actions.
classes as the cows in the foreground, Grade 2 class as the pigs and in the
background are the grade 4 classes as the Lions.
in a song, the three Professors: Nicole Hodgson, Frances Ring and Ben
Nabnian. Behind are the grade 5 classes as the goats.