HM dedicates King Ananda statue-The Nation

June 24, 2012

HM unveils King Rama VIII statue

The Nation: June 10, 2012

 His Majesty the King arrives at the Rama VIII Bridge Park yesterday to preside over the opening of the monument of his elder brother King Ananta Mahidol (Rama VIII). Imposing 5.34-metre statue made mostly of copper, offers spectacular view of Bangkok

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej yesterday inaugurated the riverside statue of his late elder brother, King Rama VIII.

The statue is 5.34 metres tall and stands on top of a gigantic base to match the height of the nearby King Rama VIII Bridge.

While the bridge stretches across the Chao Phraya River, the statue stands in a waterfront park on the Thon Buri side. From the park, visitors can have a view of many iconic Bangkok structures, including the Phra Sumen Fortress.

The current monarch has graciously named this park, “King Rama VIII Park” in honour of his brother.

The two brothers had been very close. During their childhood, they also shared many interests and hobbies, including a love of music.

Inauguration of the King Rama VIII statue took place yesterday evening. The current monarch, accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, left Siriraj Hospital at around 5.15pm. They arrived at Rama VIII Park around 5.30pm.

Along their short drive from the hospital were crowds of loyal subjects. Most of them wore pink – the colour associated with loyalty to the much-revered King. Since being admitted to Siriraj Hospital in 2009, His Majesty has stayed there for treatment. He has hardly left its compound in recent years.

But his public presence has always brought delight to his people. Even though there were downpours in many parts of Bangkok, including at the Rama VIII Park yesterday, his loyal subjects were undaunted.

However, there was no rain when His Majesty arrived for the inauguration. The beloved King took pictures of his subjects.

“My friends and I travelled from Saraburi for a chance to get another glimpse of His Majesty,” 52-year-old Yupin Kiansa-ard said.

She said her group reached the King Rama VIII Park at 8am and stayed put. “The sight of him overwhelmed me with delight,” the housewife said. Yupin had also headed to Ayutthaya’s Thung Makham Yong for a glimpse of His Majesty, who visited the area last month.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra welcomed His Majesty as soon as he arrived at the Rama VIII Park.

His Majesty watched an exhibition about his elder brother and traffic solutions before he pressed the button to officially unveil the statue of King Rama VIII to the public.

King Rama VIII Bridge was built over the Chao Phraya River on the current monarch’s initiative to facilitate traffic flow between the two sides of Bangkok.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), which constructed the bridge, also had the King Rama VIII statue cast. The Fine Arts Department designed the statue, which is three times bigger than King Rama VIII was. The statue is mainly made of copper.

At the waterfront park, the current monarch, the Queen and the Princess paid their respects to the statues of King Rama VIII, his late parents and late elder sister.

The royals then attended a merit-making ceremony in dedication to the late family members.

King Rama VIII passed away on June 9, 1946.


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