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21 December 2020

Coronation Day Anniversary 2020 Commemorative Stamps (1st Series) — Golden Stamp

[postponed from 04 May 2020]

Thailand: Coronation Day Anniversary 2020 Commemorative Stamps (1st Series) — Golden Stamp, 21 December 2020. Images from Thai Stamp Museum.

Technical Specifications:

Issue number: 1189 Coronation Day Anniversary (Series 1)
Date of Issue: 21 December 2020
Purpose: To glorify H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua on the occasion of Coronation Day Anniversary
Denomination: 100.00 Baht
Quantity: 500,000 pieces
Size: 36 x 51 mm. (Vertical)
Design : The royal photo of H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua in Regal Vestments, wearing the Great Crown of Victory, seated on the Budtan Kanchana Singhasana Throne, on the Royal Throne during the Royal Coronation Ceremony on 4 May 2019, including a royal cypher, “Wor Por Ror”
Designer: Mr. Udorn Niyomthum (Thailand Post Company Limited)
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France
Printing Process and Colour: Lithography Multi – colour (Embossed and flat gold foil and blue foil hot stamping )
Sheet Composition: 4 stamps
First Day Cover: 118.00 Baht

The Coronation of the Thai monarch (พระราชพิธีบรมราชาภิเษกของพระมหากษัตริย์ไทย) is a ceremony in which the King of Thailand is formally consecrated by anointment and crowning. The ceremony is divided into two main events: the coronation rites and the celebration of the Assumption of the Residence. The coronation rites are a blend of Hindu and Buddhist traditions dating back several centuries. The rites included the purification bath of the king, the anointing of the king (based on the ancient ritual of Abhiseka), the crowning of the king, and the investiture of the royal regalia, the royal utensils, and the royal weapons of sovereignty. The Assumption of the Residence is a private housewarming celebration by members of the royal family at the Grand Palace.

Historically, the coronation usually took place as soon as possible after the death of the previous monarch. This followed the custom that an unconsecrated king cannot bear certain regalia nor carry out any religious functions. However, in the last century this tradition has been replaced by a mourning period of about a year after the succession. The most recent coronation was held on 4 May 2019 for King Vajiralongkorn.

On 1 December 2016 the President of the National Assembly formally invited Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn to ascend to the throne as king. Later that night Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in a televised statement that the coronation would “be at his [the king’s] discretion” and would not take place until after 26 October 2017, when the royal cremation of his father was planned. For most Thai people it was the first coronation in living memory.

The date of the king’s coronation was widely expected to signal the resumption of politics following a year-long mourning period for King Rama IX, with an election to follow soon after. The date for a general election, in which the ruling junta, National Council for Peace and Order (who took power through a coup d’état in 2014), promised in a “road map” to civilian rule was to be postponed indefinitely until after the coronation ceremony was supposed to take place. However, some voiced doubts over this timeline and others were highly critical of the government’s use of the coronation as a tool to delay the election, which was initially supposed to happen in 2016. Throughout 2018 several anti-government protests were held by various groups demanding an election as soon as possible, as the government had not set a firm date for the coronation and, subsequently, the election.

It was not until 1 January 2019 that the government announced an official date for the coronation, which was to take place later that year from 4–6 May; a palace statement said: “His Majesty deems it fit to hold the coronation ceremony per royal traditions for the good fortune of the nation and the kingdom, to be enjoyed by the hopeful people”. Over the three-day coronation, on 4 May, the king was to be anointed and crowned; on 5 May a royal procession takes place; and on 6 May the king grants an audience for the public and foreign dignitaries.

This announcement and the subsequent delay in the election prompted more protests. “There will be an election before coronation,” Prime Minister Chan-ocha assured reporters by saying “We have to organize both things together, but we must give time to the coronation preparation first”. Despite promising not to delay the election date further, the planned election date was postponed from 29 February to 24 March. After the highly contentious general election was finally held, with the unofficial results showing no clear winner, the pro-military Palang Pracharat Party announced that it would not seek to negotiate with other parties to forge a coalition government because it wants to focus on the coronation. In April, the government announced that Songkran festivities were to be scaled down in order to avoid clashes with the coronation.

On 1 May 2019, three days before his coronation, Vajiralongkorn married Suthida Tidjai, former acting commander of Royal Thai Aide-de-Camp Department. Suthida was therefore made the queen consort of King Vajiralongkorn whose coronation took place in Bangkok on 4–6 May 2019. The marriage registration took place at the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall in Bangkok, with his sister Princess Sirindhorn and President of Privy Council Prem Tinsulanonda as witnesses.

Vajiralongkorn’s three-day coronation ceremonies took place on 4–6 May 2019. The one billion baht coronation was anticipated to attract 150,000 persons to Sanam Luang.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, Vajiralongkorn was given the reigning title of Phrabat Somdet Phra Vajira Klao Chao Yu Hua. The last time such title was given during the reign of King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) who was given the reigning title of Phrabat Somdet Phra Pok Klao Chao Yu Hua during his coronation in 1926.

The day of the coronation is commemorated with an anniversary celebration every year thereafter. The date is made a public holiday and is known as the Coronation Day (วันฉัตรมงคล) or literally ‘the day of the blessing of the umbrella’ and involves the king himself carrying out certain rites in remembrance of his consecration. The main ceremony is a benediction service by monks inside the Amarin Winitchai throne hall, where the royal regalia, royal utensils and royal weapons are displayed on the Phuttan Kanchanasinghat throne. The court Brahmin would then chant a mantra, in the presence of the king, and perform a circumambulation of the nine-tiered umbrella. Gold and silver flowers will then be offered to the spirits protecting the throne, followed by the tying of a strip of red cloth around the umbrella’s stem, and ending the service by the sprinkling of lustral water on the royal regalia. For the late King Rama IX the celebration usually involved a general audience, where he appeared in state seated on the throne under the nine-tiered umbrella to receive well wishes. After his death the public holiday (on 5 May) was cancelled by the government in 2017.

Full Sheet of 4 Stamps:

First Day Cover:

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