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Huge crowd sings anthem tribute to late king


King Bhumibol reigned for 70 years

King Bhumibol reigned for 70 years

King Bhumibol reigned for 70 years

A massive crowd has gathered in central Bangkok to sing a special version of Thailand's royal anthem in honour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died last week.

A large field in front of the ornate Grand Palace complex was packed with black-clad mourners, as were all the approach roads. Police eventually closed the roads to traffic.

The king's body is lying in one of the palaces in the complex while royal funeral ceremonies are going on. No date has been set for cremation, which will likely take place after a year.

Led by the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra and a 100-strong choir, the crowd sang an emotional version of San Sern Pra Baramee, or Salute to the Monarch.

The singing was recorded and will be played on television and at cinemas. The playing of the anthem is a fixture before every movie showing in Thailand.

Another version was to be recorded after dark on Saturday with the crowd holding candles.

Bhumibol died on October 13 after reigning for 70 years, plunging the country into grief and extended mourning. The official mourning period is one year.