16 November 2016
Prestigious award presented to Dr Phibul Choompolpaisal by HRH the Crown Prince of Thailand
Dr Phibul Choompolpaisal receives an award for his work on Buddhist manuscripts by HRH the Crown Prince of Thailand Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Dr Phibul Choompolpaisal is in the news again after receiving an award from HRH the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand in recognition for work on Buddhist manuscripts in Thailand. The ceremony took place on 25th October this year, but the official photograph has only just been released, personal photography not being allowed at such occasions. The award, which is broadly equivalent to an MBE, was given in the context of the royal kathina ceremony, which takes place at the eight major royal temples in Bangkok, usually with the king or his representative, another member of the royal family chosen by him, officiating at each. While the royal family makes traditional offerings of new robes to the monks in each temple, the ceremony is extended so that the royal family also presents gifts to individual citizens in an equivalent to the annual honours system here in the UK. The ceremony at which Phibul received his award was held at the royal temple, Wat Suthat Thepvararam, which visitors to Bangkok may recognise from the giant red swing located outside the entrance. Dr Choompolpaisal says of the honour, ”I receive this award on behalf of the Manuscript Conservation Association and King’s College London. I wish to thank the Crown Prince for his kindness in presenting this gift. And I feel deeply grateful for the support given by staff at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London. Without such support, all our important work would not have been able to happen”. This year's ceremony might have been postponed or cancelled while the royal family mourns the passing away of HRH King Bhumipol Adulyadej only two weeks before, but it went ahead anyway, and it was a particular honour for Phibul to receive his award from the heir to the throne.