Bhutan King pays respect to King Bhumibol in Thailand

Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (centre) and his wife Jetsun Pema arriving to pay their respects to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in Bangkok on Oct 16, 2016.
Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (centre) and his wife Jetsun Pema arriving to pay their respects to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in Bangkok on Oct 16, 2016.PHOTO: EPA/ROYAL HOUSEHOLD BUREAU

BANGKOK - Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck came to Thailand's Grand Palace on Sunday morning (Oct 16) to pay his respect to Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej in front of his royal urn, The Nation reported.

The Bhutanese monarch came to the Grand Palace at 9.50am on Sunday to pay his respect to the Thai king, who died on Thursday (Oct 13) at age 88 after seven decades on the throne.

King Wangchuk left the Grand Palace at 10.18am, waving his hands to greet the black-clad mourners who were queuing in front of the palace gate to enter the Sala Sahathai Samakhom Pavilion where they would sign a condolence book for the king.

The crowds shouted "Love Live the King" to the Bhutan King when his motorcade was passing by.

The King and Queen of Bhutan arrived in Bangkok on Friday (Oct 14), when they were welcomed at the Suvarnabhumi Airport by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Somkid Jatusripitak.

The Bhutanese royal couple had led prayers for Thailand's late King at the Thimphu National Memorial Chorten in Bhutan on Friday. Bhutan's national flags are flying at half-mast for three days as a mark of respect.

The royal families of Thailand and Bhutan share strong bonds.

Upon hearing of King Bhumibol's death on Thursday, King Wangchuk led the royal family, clergy, government officials and members of the Thai community in Bhutan in a candlelight prayer vigil at the royal palace in Thimphu, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

The Bhutanese king on Friday also declared a public holiday, in conjunction with Thailand's observance.

Vigils with butter lamps will continue to be held at temples across Bhutan, local media reported."His Majesty the late King Bhumibol has been an exceptional leader, a comforting presence in the lives of every Thai citizen," King Wangchuk wrote on Facebook."His Majesty's enduring service for the welfare and well-being of his people will be remembered with honour and respect," he added.

The Bhutanese king was among several royal family members from across the world to attend the celebration of the late King's 60th anniversary of his accession to the Thai throne in 2006.