state funeral

Thai King Leaves Hospital to Attend Funeral

World's longest reigning monarch leaves hospital in a wheelchair

04.10.12 3:49 PM ET

Thai soldiers dressed in ancient traditional uniforms pull the royal chariot carrying the royal urn of Thai Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda Sirisobhabannavadi during the ancient rites of the royal cremation ceremony at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on April 9, 2012. Thai Princess Bejaratana, the first cousin of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was admitted to Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital on July 13 for bloodstream infection and passed away on July 27, 2011 after her condition worsened. AFP PHOTO/ Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)


Now that's what we call a cortege!

Thailand's frail king left the hospital where he has been staying for more than two years on Monday for a rare public appearance at the funeral of his cousin.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, left Siriraj hospital in a wheelchair, wearing the customary white royal uniform and a black armband for the memorial rites of Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda.

The monarch, now 84, was admitted to hospital in September 2009 to be treated for a respiratory condition and has rarely left, aside from a few public appearances.

Princess Bejaratana, the only child of late King Vajiravudh, died in July 2011 from a blood infection at the age of 85 and had lain in state since then at the Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.

Her remains were transported in a large golden urn atop a gilded teak chariot pulled by more than 200 men in one of three processions ahead of her cremation due to be held later Monday, which was declared a special holiday.