Photos: Thailand grieves in elaborate funeral for King Bhumibol

A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's historic heart on Thursday as funeral rites began for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven-decade reign left Thailand bereft of its only unifying figure.

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST 9 Photos
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A Thai mourner holds up the portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace to take part in the Royal Cremation ceremony in Bangkok on October 25, 2017. An elaborate five-day funeral is underway for the late king with his son and incumbent ruler performing Buddhist merit-making rites in preparation for moving Bhumibol’s remains to a spectacular golden crematorium. (Sakchai Lalit / AP)

A Thai mourner holds up the portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace to take part in the Royal Cremation ceremony in Bangkok on October 25, 2017. An elaborate five-day funeral is underway for the late king with his son and incumbent ruler performing Buddhist merit-making rites in preparation for moving Bhumibol’s remains to a spectacular golden crematorium. (Sakchai Lalit / AP)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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An image of the late Thai King Bhumibol, who many Thais loved like a father, covers the side of a building in Bangkok. As Thailand prepared for the elaborate cremation ceremony, his image was omnipresent across the country from billboards to ATM screens, from full-page tributes in national newspapers to commemorative books in street-side markets and shrines in shopping malls to exhibits in art galleries. (Charles Dharapak / AP)

An image of the late Thai King Bhumibol, who many Thais loved like a father, covers the side of a building in Bangkok. As Thailand prepared for the elaborate cremation ceremony, his image was omnipresent across the country from billboards to ATM screens, from full-page tributes in national newspapers to commemorative books in street-side markets and shrines in shopping malls to exhibits in art galleries. (Charles Dharapak / AP)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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Thai people in raincoats queue up ahead of the cremation ceremony, on October 24, 2017. The exactingly planned funeral is governed by strict protocols. Men must wear a black suit, have short hair and be clean-shaven, while women must wear a black skirt below the knees and not have highlights in their hair. Even colourful mobile phone cases have been outlawed and royals must not be photographed eating or walking up or down stairs. (Wason Wanichakorn / AP)

Thai people in raincoats queue up ahead of the cremation ceremony, on October 24, 2017. The exactingly planned funeral is governed by strict protocols. Men must wear a black suit, have short hair and be clean-shaven, while women must wear a black skirt below the knees and not have highlights in their hair. Even colourful mobile phone cases have been outlawed and royals must not be photographed eating or walking up or down stairs. (Wason Wanichakorn / AP)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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The royal pavilion where King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be cremated on October 26 is framed by the blue sky at dusk. The kingdom has been prepping for the event since he died at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016, triggering an outpouring of grief. The elaborate golden crematorium is a symbolic representation of Mount Meru — the mythical mountain where Hindus believe the gods live and where the king will ascend to after his cremation. (Roberto Schmidt / AFP)

The royal pavilion where King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be cremated on October 26 is framed by the blue sky at dusk. The kingdom has been prepping for the event since he died at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016, triggering an outpouring of grief. The elaborate golden crematorium is a symbolic representation of Mount Meru — the mythical mountain where Hindus believe the gods live and where the king will ascend to after his cremation. (Roberto Schmidt / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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Mourners sleep in front of an image of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej waiting for his funeral procession on October 26, 2017. About 200,000 black-clad mourners thronged Bangkok’s historic quarter before dawn to witness elaborate gilded processions that will be broadcast live. (Anthony Wallace / AFP)

Mourners sleep in front of an image of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej waiting for his funeral procession on October 26, 2017. About 200,000 black-clad mourners thronged Bangkok’s historic quarter before dawn to witness elaborate gilded processions that will be broadcast live. (Anthony Wallace / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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An artillery gun is fired at the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in Bangkok, on October 26, 2017. A budget of 3 billion baht ($90 million) has been set aside for the funeral, which will be attended by dozens of heads of state, including King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan and Japan’s Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko. (Wason Wanichakorn / AP)

An artillery gun is fired at the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in Bangkok, on October 26, 2017. A budget of 3 billion baht ($90 million) has been set aside for the funeral, which will be attended by dozens of heads of state, including King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan and Japan’s Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko. (Wason Wanichakorn / AP)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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The Royal Urn of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is placed on the Great Victory Chariot during the cremation procession at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. By tradition, deceased royals have been kept upright in elaborate urns but Bhumibol, opted to be put in a coffin, with the urn placed next to it for devotional purposes. The royal chariot is pulled by soldiers using red rope and is one of few items in use for royal funerals since 1796. (Damir Sagolj / REUTERS)

The Royal Urn of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is placed on the Great Victory Chariot during the cremation procession at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. By tradition, deceased royals have been kept upright in elaborate urns but Bhumibol, opted to be put in a coffin, with the urn placed next to it for devotional purposes. The royal chariot is pulled by soldiers using red rope and is one of few items in use for royal funerals since 1796. (Damir Sagolj / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn (C) marches during the cremation procession of his father King Bhumibol at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. At 5:30pm, King Vajiralongkorn will light a symbolic fire at the crematorium with the real cremation taking place later at 10:00p.m. (Damir Sagolj / REUTERS)

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn (C) marches during the cremation procession of his father King Bhumibol at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. At 5:30pm, King Vajiralongkorn will light a symbolic fire at the crematorium with the real cremation taking place later at 10:00p.m. (Damir Sagolj / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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Mourners prostrate as the cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej passes by the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. As the urn passed them, many mourners fully prostrated on the ground, a once abolished practice brought back during Bhumibol’s reign, while others burst into tears. (Damir Sagolj / REUTERS)

Mourners prostrate as the cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej passes by the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. As the urn passed them, many mourners fully prostrated on the ground, a once abolished practice brought back during Bhumibol’s reign, while others burst into tears. (Damir Sagolj / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2017 11:39 AM IST
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