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  1. ITV Report

Hundreds of drones take part in impressive display for Thai coronation

A drone light show was held in Bangkok on Monday to celebrate the completion of the coronation ceremony for Thailand's newly crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Vajiralongkorn became king after the 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades, but it wasn't until his formal coronation on Saturday he became a monarch with full regal powers based on the nation's traditions.

The drones were sent up into the night sky in a display of various images, such as a map of Thailand, a picture of the king and the words "Long Live the King."

The procession of elephants outside the Grand Palace Credit: Rapeephat Sitichailapa/AP

As part of the celebrations, 11 white-painted elephants gathered with their handlers before Bangkok’s Grand Palace to pay respect to the monarch.

Hundreds of mahouts, or handlers, dressed in royal yellow sang the royal anthem and knelt with their elephants before a portrait of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The elephants, which came from across the country and had their tusks garlanded, trumpeted at the end of the ceremony.

“I am delighted for His Majesty that everyone shows their respect to him, even the elephants showed their respect for him. And they did it so well,” said Phuraporn Gorgerd, one of those attending the event.

Thais consider white elephants a sacred symbol of royal power and an elephant adorned the national flag until 1917.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida wave from the palace balcony Credit: Rapeephat Sitichailapa/AP

The south-east Asian country has had a constitutional monarchy since 1932, when a revolution ended absolute rule by kings.

Monarchs are still regarded as almost divine and seen as a unifying presence in a country that has suffered regular political instability as it rotates between elected governments and military rule.

The king and other top members of the royal family are protected by one of the world's strictest lese majeste laws, which makes criticism punishable by up to 15 years in prison.