Bhumibol Adulyadej

Thailand begins royal cremation for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej

The revered king died in October 2016 aged 88.

He will be cremated later on Thursday, in a royal pyre to be lit by his son and successor to the throne, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The funeral officially started on Wednesday with a merit-making ceremony, a Buddhist rite, in the Grand Palace.

A series of Buddhist rites began in the royal palace on Thursday morning. Later, the royal urn will be moved onto a chariot and brought in a large procession to the site of the cremation.

Health of Thailand's King 'not yet stabilised'

On Sunday the palace announced that the king was in an unstable condition after receiving haemodialysis treatment.

King Bhumibol, 88, is widely revered, and a crowd of well-wishers have gathered outside Siriraj hospital.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha cancelled an official engagement to meet the Crown Prince.

A palace statement late on Wednesday said the king's "blood pressure lowered and breath quickened".

It said his liver and kidneys were not working properly and he remained on a ventilator.