Hundreds of Thais queued from early this morning to buy commemorative pins for the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
A limited run of 150,000 pins issued by the government and costing €8.40 (300 Baht) will be sold for three days at 30 locations nationwide, ahead of the ceremony on 4 May.
Chanachai Charoensue, an office worker who had come to a department store in Bangkok to buy one of the pins, said: "I am excited and happy. Actually, His Majesty the King has carried [out] his duties for a while. The government now has to hold this ceremony to honour the king. And I am very excited about it. I know that the government will hold the ceremony fitting his royal stature."
Thais have also been buying framed portraits of the new monarch – also known as King Rama X, the tenth in a dynasty that dates back to 1782 – and wearing yellow, the colour associated with the royal family. Buildings and governmental offices have decorated their exteriors with the king's portrait, flowers and flags.
The coronation will take place more than two years after Vajiralongkorn succeeded his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October 2016 at the age of 88 after reigning for seven decades. The king's body lay in state for a one-year period of mourning, with daily rites for 100 days and nationwide ceremonies held for the 100-day mark before he was cremated in October 2017.
Civil servant Naowarat Buakluan, who was also in search of a commemorative pin, said: "This ceremony is significant to Thailand because the monarchy is a very important institution of our country and is the soul of our nation.
"If you asked why the ceremony is being held this year when His Majesty has already ascended the throne, it's because this is the right moment. Previously, we, Thais, were mourning the loss of our beloved late king."