The Royal Tonsure Ceremony : A Bygone Era
The Royal Tonsure ceremony, or the cutting of the top knot, marked the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. All royal children had to go through this ceremony at the age of 10-11 years of age. The ceremony was performed by the King, and lasted 3 days and 3 nights. It involved royal children wearing the most splendid costumes, and vast amount of jewels on all parts of the body. Since the end of absolute monarchy in Thailand, in 1932, the tonsure ceremony has also ended. The jewels worn during the ceremony were necklaces, brooches and bracelets put together to form one large chest-piece. Different ranking child would wear different costumes and jewels. They were then given parts of these jewels as presents on entering adulthood.
H.M. King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) waits for the palanquin that would carry HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis (standing infront of the King) during the Crown Prince's tonsure ceremony
The jewels and costumes worn by the Royal Children differred according to their ranks, as seen below
For a closer look at a coronet and a pair of "hongsa" (swan) shoulder clips, please click on the right..
Hongsa Shoulder Clips