This is the first of a two part special made on the Royal Court of Thailand by the BBC in 1998. This episode focuses on the funeral of the much loved Princess-Mother.
Alternating between preparations for the funeral and a history of her life and works, the film features the reflections of the Princess-Mother’s Personal secretary M R Disnadda Diskul, and a critical appraisal by Sulak Sivaraksa.
The Princess-Mother started life as a commoner, and only married into the Royal Family as she was so far removed from the succession. But fate has its ways, and with the overthrow of the Absolute Monarchy her children fell in line for the throne.
Her elder son King Ananda died tragically from an unexplained gunshot wound after a short time on the throne, and her younger son Bhumiphol, the present King, was anointed.
The film documents her good works amongst the poor, and her simple touch, which endeared her to the people. She was particularly concerned about the hill tribes and eventually retired to live in the hill tribe areas around the Golden Triangle.
She passed away in 1995, and after nearly a year of mourning was cremated after a lavish funeral in Bangkok, which forms the backdrop to this film.
There was a second part to this special but it appears not to be posted. If I find it later I will include it here.
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to see a set of stills click on the screenshot below