His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen of Bhutan offered last respects to His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, during the Royal Cremation Ceremony at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on Thursday.
His Majesty conveyed messages of condolence to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, on behalf of the people of Bhutan.
Following a yearlong mourning period in Thailand for the beloved King, His Late Majesty King Bhumibol was cremated yesterday. His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on October 13 last year.
Due to the special relations between Bhutan and Thailand, and the deep admiration in Bhutan for His Late Majesty King Bhumibol, prayers were offered at Kuenselphodrang in Thimphu, presided over by His Holiness the Je Khenpo (abbot of Bhutanese clergy), for His Late Majesty. Members of the Royal Family of Bhutan attended the prayer ceremony.
Bhutan observed a day of mourning on October 14, 2016, and schools and offices remained closed, to enable Thai nationals living and working in Bhutan, as well as Bhutanese, to offer their prayers and respects. The National Flag was flown at half-mast.
Their Majesties visited Thailand on October 16 last year, to offer respects as His Late Majesty King Bhumibol lay in state in the Grand Palace's Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall.
Bhutan and Thailand established diplomatic relations in 1989, and Drukair, the national airlines, began regular flights to Bangkok, opening up travel and communication between the people of the two countries.
His Majesty The King visited Thailand as Crown Prince in 2006, to attend the 60th Anniversary of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol's Accession to the throne. The relations between Bhutan and Thailand attained an exceptionally warm and intimate dimension following the visit, with an outpouring of affection for His Majesty from the people of Thailand.
The relations between Thailand and Bhutan remain stronger than ever today, with numerous Bhutanese travelling to Thailand for studies, work, medical treatment, business, and holidays, and an increasing number of reciprocal visits from Thai nationals.
Among the many areas of co-operation between Bhutan and Thailand, the Queen's Project has been receiving wholehearted support from the Royal Projects of Thailand geared towards empowering local economies through strengthening cottage enterprises, for similar projects in Bhutan.