All Thailand rejoiced on the 9th of June 1946 when our beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne just months before his 19th birthday.
Following the completion of his academic studies in Switzerland, His Majesty returned to the Kingdom for his official coronation on the 5th of May 1950, and took his First Oath of Accession to the throne with the immortal words: "We will reign with righteousness, for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people."
His Majesty has more than fulfilled that promise during his sixty years on the throne, proving to his subjects and the world at large that his love of his people has remained paramount. A beacon of rectitude and strength through fair and troubled times, the king has led by unwavering example since taking the oath of accession.
The Bahadrabith Throne
At his coronation ceremony, as the king sat in the Bahadrabith Throne beneath the Great White Umbrella of State, he was presented with the Five Royal Regalia and Royal Utensils. These serve to invest the king with the outward brilliance of majesty and command, while serving to remind his subjects of His Majesty's burdens and responsibilities.
The Quintet of Royal Regalia
Among the symbols of regal authority, The Quintet of Royal Regalia, or the Bencharajakakuthaphan, is considered to be of prime importance: The Great Crown of Victory (Phra Maha Pichai Mongkut), The Sword of Victory (Phra Saeng Khan Chai Sri), The Royal Staff (Tharn Phra Gorn), The Royal Fan (Walwichani), and the Royal Fly Whisk ; The Royal Slippers (Chalong Phra Baat Cherng Ngorn.
|The Great Crown of Victory is considered the predominant insignia of sovereignty. The crown, with which His Majesty formally crowned himself during his coronation, is made of gold, adorned with precious gemstones, and topped with a great diamond called Maha Wichien Mani which was added by King Rama 1V. The crown is of a distinctive Thai design, being a multi-tiered conical diadem, terminating in a tapering spire. || |
|The Sword of Victory is considered a foremost emblem of sovereignty, symbolizing the king as a warrior with the duty of protecting his people. The blade of the sword comes from Cambodia; its neck, between handle and blade, is adorned with a gold inlaid miniature image of Vishnu mounting his Garuda. King Rama 1 ordered a hilt and scabbard made in gold and encrusted with jewels. || |
|The Royal Staff is fashioned from cassia wood encased in gold, with a rounded grip at the top and a forked foot of gold inlaid metal. The Royal Staff is employed as a symbol of regal authority by many cultures worldwide and is associated with the guiding of the king's footsteps down the path of justice and equity. || |
|The Royal Up-Turned Slippers are fashioned in fine gold and are upturned at the toe to protect the king's feet from touching the ground. The golden slippers are of fine gold, with soles of pure sheet gold, decorated with diamonds and lined with red velvet. The slippers are intended for use only at a coronation, and symbolize the acceptance of the people. || |
|The Royal Fan and Royal Fly Whisk are symbolic of the king's obligation to ward off any evil threatening his people. The Royal Fan is made of Talipot palm leaf, and its frame is covered in gold. The shaft and fan mount are crafted in gold, red, green, white and blue enamel, set with laces of diamonds around the handle. The Royal Fly Whisk is made of hair from an elephant's tale, dating from the period of His Majesty King Rama 1V. || |
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The Royal Utensils
(Phra Khattiya Rajuprapoke)
|The Royal Utensils are for the personal use of the monarch, and comprise the Betel Nut Set, the Water Urn, the Libation Vessel, and the Receptacle. These objects serve to impress the people and to honour the power of the king. The objects are always placed on either side of the king's throne or his seat during Royal ceremonies. || |
| The Betel Nut Set (Paan Phra Khaan Maak) is gold enamelled and comprises : a betel leaf holder, two bowls, two urn-shaped boxes, an areca nut cutter and a box of lip wax. All are placed on a two-tiered pedestal tray supported at all four corners by green enamel three-headed Nagas(serpents). Betel chewing was a prevalent habit of bygone days, and the betel nut set remains and indispensable Royal utensil. In the past, Thai monarchs would present betel nut sets of various materials, patterns, and forms to signify the rank and status of the recipients. || |
|The Water Urn (Phra Mondop Ratanagarund) is of polygonal, or many-sided, shape and rests on a pedestal bowl. The inverted top of the three-tiered lid of the urn is surrounded by lotus buds. The urn and the pedestal bowl are of inlaid gold, embedded with such gemstones as emeralds and rubies. || |
|The Libation Vessel (Phra Supannaraj) is in gold and comprises a" bombe"body on a pedestal foot; is tapered at the neck with a wide opening. The entire piece is embossed and engraved. || |
|The Receptacle (Phra Supannasri Bua Chaek) is of gold and is in the shape of a lotus bud, with enamel petals of red and green. || |
The use of Royal Regalia and Royal Utensils in coronation ceremonies dates back to the Sukhothai Kingdom of the 13th to 15th centuries; the state regarded by Thai historical tradition as the first Thai kingdom. During this period, Thai artisans in the time-honoured traditional patterns and designs befitting the dignity and status of the king, crafted the items of Royal Regalia and Utensils, used during the reign of King Rama 1 of the Royal House of Chakri. The Quintet of Royal Regalia, made at that time, has been used at subsequent coronations, including that of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on May 5th, 1950 at the Grand Palace.