More than 150,000 gather at the Royal Palace in Bangkok to sing the royal anthem in honor of the late Thai king. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: A huge crowd gathered outside Bangkok's Grand Palace Saturday to sing the royal anthem in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died on Oct. 13 after seven decades on the throne. Police said more than 150,000 people were in Sanam Luang, a tree-lined open space in Bangkok that has been used for royal cremations outside the river-side Grand Palace, and side streets with more people expected through the day. The government has declared a year of mourning for the 88-year old king, who was seen as a father figure for generations of people, and, though a constitutional monarch, a calming influence over the country's often turbulent politics. People dressed in black traveled by bus, boat and on foot to attend the event which brought the area to gridlock well before the start of the singing. The royal anthem, known as Sansoen Phra Barami, is played before the screening of every cinema show in Thailand, when the audience stands to honor the king as pictures of his life and work are shown on the screen. Saturday's singing was recorded for use in cinemas, organizers said. Since the king died, people from across Thailand have flocked to the gilded Grand Palace to pay homage to the only king most of them have ever known, who is lying in state there. Buddhist monks have been chanting prayers beside his coffin in an imposing throne hall, and they will chant for 100 days as part of the funeral rites. The military government has not set a date for the royal cremation but it is expected in about a year.