Trooping the Colour, Bangkok
the King's Birthday Parade

By Eric Lim

Trooping the Colour in Bangkok is an annual ceremony at the Royal Plaza for officers and men of the King's Guard to pledge their allegiance and offer birthday blessings to their King.

Held on 2 December 2005 three days before the 78th birthday of King Bhumipol Adulyadej, the event was televised live nation-wide from 1645 hours on all channels.

The 12 contingents of 2,000 officers and men representing battalions of the King's Guard from all three services marched down Ratchadamnoen Avenue, resplendent in their colourful ceremonial uniforms and busbies, an array of scarlet, blue, green, yellow and white.

Led by their officers and the Colour parties each bearing the standard that is the pride of every fighting unit, the troops marched under the arches bearing the King's photographs to take up positions at the Royal Plaza.

Located at the end of Ratchadamnoen Avenue, the Royal Plaza is where the revered King Rama V Equestrian Monument stands against the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall with its stately dome in the background.

On entering the Royal Plaza, the column halted, turned smartly to the left in extended order to face the Royal Pavilion and await the arrival of His Majesty.

Trooping the Colour officially commenced with the arrival of His Majesty King Bhumipol at 1715 hours to the strains of the Royal Anthem. The Colours were lowered as a mark of respect.

King Bhumipol in his scarlet tunic and black busby reviewed the troops in a yellow open hood Rolls Royce accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince.

After the troop review, the Supreme Commander, Service Chiefs and their Chiefs-of-Staff assembled before the Royal Pavilion.

To mark the occasion of the King's Birthday on 5 December which is also National Fathers' Day, the Supreme Commander presented a ceremonial tray of flowers to His Majesty the King, the father of the nation.

The Royal Plaza resounded with 2,000 voices in unison, led by the Supreme Commander, pledging allegiance to the longest reigning monarch in the world. To the booms of a 21-gun salute, the King's yellow pennant was floated up in a huge balloon, followed by 7,200 balloons.

In his speech, His Majesty the King thanked the Royal Guard for their good wishes and loyalty. Stressing the current threats faced by the nation, he urged all troops to discharge their duties diligently.

The bugle call at 1810 hours signaled the start of the highlight of Trooping the Colour.

The 12 contingents of the King's Guard marched proudly past the Royal Pavilion, with the battalion that served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars in the vanguard.

In the wake of the marching column, mounted on shiny steeds, a cavalry troop of lancers in dazzling brass helmets with blue plumes added élan to Trooping the Colour.

When the Royal Guard returned to their original positions, the military band, which doubled up as an equally good choir, rendered a harmonious song of blessing to His Majesty, a fitting end to a grand parade.

Trooping the Colour ended at 1840 hours as the Royal motorcade drove past the troops towards the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall, which was bathed in a golden glow of lights.

From the ranks of the Royal Guard rose three hearty cheers, "Long Live the King!"

To get to the Royal Plaza, please refer to the Dusit Garden map. To return to Dusit Garden.

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