Royal Nine-Tiered Umbrella
The Royal Nine-Tiered Umbrella or Nopphapadon Mahasawettachat (Thai: นพปฎลมหาเศวตฉัตร) is part of the regalia of the King of Thailand. Currently there are seven, distributed above various thrones, in the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
In ancient times the umbrella was seen as the most important symbols of kingship. An umbrella is usually present over the king's throne, bed, and funeral urn. During the reign of King Mongkut (or Rama IV) the king replaced the umbrella made of leaves to one made of white silk. The multi-tiered umbrella represented the many levels of heaven in accordance with Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. In ancient times kings had a six-tiered umbrella reflecting the six levels of heaven. Later the umbrella was changed to nine tiers; this represented the eight points of the compass, symbolising the king as the conqueror of eight directions, with the final ninth tier representing the burden the king faces as a monarch.
The seven royal nine-tiered umbrellas are in the following places:
- Chakri Mahaprasat Hall
- Dusit Mahaprasat Hall
- Amarin Winichai Hall
- Paisan Thaksin Hall
- Chakrapad Phiman Hall, all in the Grand Palace.
- Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall, within the vicinity of Dusit Palace.
- HG Quadritch Wales: Siamese State Ceremonies. London 1931, Reprint by Curzon Press, Richmond 1992, ISBN 0-7007-0269-5