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Thai king's final coronation rite highlights clout with military

Barge parade with naval crews comes after monarch took control of Bangkok units

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn is carried on a chair after taking part in a royal barge procession on Dec. 12.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn capped off his coronation rituals with a royal boat procession on Thursday, as he moves to bolster his personal authority over the military and the country as a whole.

About 2,300 naval personnel rowed 52 traditionally and elaborately decorated barges down Bangkok's Chao Phraya River. The parade was last held in 2012 to celebrate the 85th birthday of the current king's father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

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