Regiments of Thailand's Royal Guard pledged their allegiance to King Bhumibol on Monday (December 3) at a special parade marking the Thai monarch's 46th birthday.
GV Military band marching
SV Troops marching
GV Parade ground
MS and CU Troops
SV King and Queen arrive
SV Cutaway of troops
SV King walking up to dais (2 shots)
MV Troop saluting King (3 shots)
SV Officers looking on
SV Guard of Honour
MV Cutaway cameramen
MV Troops marching (3 shots)
Initials AE/16.12 AE/16.28
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Regiments of Thailand's Royal Guard pledged their allegiance to King Bhumibol on Monday (December 3) at a special parade marking the Thai monarch's 46th birthday.
Since the student revolution in October this year. King Bhumibol has become a national hero for his part in overthrowing the military regime of former Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn. Correspondents have said the king's popularity is such that he could restore the absolute powers which the Thai kings lost in the military revolt of 1932.
But King Bhumibol has said that national sovereignty resides in the people, not the monarch, and he has curtailed birthday celebrations in his honour.
King Bhumibol acceded to the throne in 1946 at the ae of 19, and has constantly presented an austere face to the nation--never smiling, drinking or smoking in public.
In the October students' revolt, King Bhumibol forced the military Government to resign, and when the Army disobeyed Royal orders and fired on the students, the King forced the military rulers into exile. He has not left Thailand since 1967, and has travelled tens of thousand of mils into the country's remotest regions.
In Monday's ceremony, two days before has birthday on December 5, King Bhumibol called no his troops to maintain their loyalty to the country and to help keep the nation independent and stable.
Thailand's former military regime was replaced in October by a civilian government under Prime Minister Sanya Thammasak.
SYNOPSIS: In the Thai capital, Bangkok, on Monday, regiments of the Royal Guard pledged their loyalty to King Bhumibol at a parade to mark the monarch's forty-sixth birthday. The restoration of civilian rule gave an add significance to the occasion.
King Bhumibol, has become a national here for his part in the overthrowing of the former military regime during the students' revolt in October. It was the king who force the military Government to resign, and later forced its leaders into exile.
Correspondents have said the King's popularity is such that he could restore absolute power to the monarchy if he chose. But the King is a strong supporter of civilian rule, and the new civilian government of Prime Minister Sanya Thammasak.
The military parade took place two days before the King's birthday on December the fifth. The King called on his troops to maintain their loyalty to the country and to keep the nation independent and stable.