BANGKOK – Queens Sofia of Spain, Maxima of the Netherlands and Silvia of Sweden along with Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom are among those expected to attend the funeral ceremony later this week of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died one year ago, diplomatic sources said on Monday.
The body of the monarch, who died at the age of 88, will be cremated on Thursday, according to Buddhist tradition, in a solemn ceremony in which the presence of the members of many Asian monarchies is also expected.
Queen Sofia is due to arrive in Bangkok on Tuesday. She will also attend a lunch hosted in her honor by Princess Sirindhorn, the second daughter of the late sovereign.
Thai authorities have estimated that more than 12 million people paid their last respects to the mortal remains of King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the period when they were kept at a Bangkok royal palace after his death on Oct. 13, 2016.
The monarch died in the hospital where he had been admitted almost uninterruptedly for more than a year after a reign of seven decades, which had made him the longest serving monarch in Thailand and the world’s longest-serving head of state.
The Spanish and Thai royal families have for many years maintained a close relationship, which has included visits to Spain by King Bhumibol and his widow, Queen Sirikit, and that of the now abdicated King Juan Carlos and Sofia to Thailand, where Vajiralongkorn, the only son of the deceased monarch, has now succeeded his father to the throne.