Thailand's popular King Bhumibol has passed after reigning over the country for an impressive seven decades, reaching the status of world's longest serving monarch before his death on Thursday. Now Thailand looks to the future under Bhumibol's son, Vajiralongkorn.
The head of Thailand's royal advisory council will stand in as regent while the country grieves over the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and awaits for his son to formally succeed him, the government said.
Mourners lit candles and recited prayers before dawn on Saturday outside Bangkok's riverside Grand Palace, where the remains of the king will lie for months before a traditional royal cremation, and thousands joined them during the morning.
The world's longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumibol died on Thursday in a Bangkok hospital, at the age of 88.
The government has said Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn wants to grieve with the people and leave the formal succession until later, when parliament will invite him to ascend the throne.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said in an interview broadcast on state television late on Friday that there was no uncertainty about the succession but, in the interim, the head of the powerful Privy Council would have to step in as regent.
"There must be a regent for the time being in order not to create a gap," Wissanu said.
"This situation will not be used for long," he added, without mentioning by name Privy Council head 96-year-old Prem Tinsulanonda, a former army chief and prime minister.
Prince Vajiralongkorn does not enjoy the same adoration his father earned over a lifetime on the throne. He has married and divorced three times, and has spent much of his life outside Thailand, often in Germany.
The king's remains were taken in a convoy on Friday through Bangkok's ancient quarter to the Grand Palace, winding past thousands of Thais dressed in black, many of them holding aloft portraits of a monarch who was revered as a father figure.
And I thought I have big shoes to fill compared to Zandardad. We're talking about a man who ruled since the end of World War II and achieved near deific status among his people.
Meanwhile, Thailand's military government remains running the show, now without King Bhumibol as a mitigating voice.
The king stepped in to calm crises on several occasions during his reign and many Thais worry about a future without him. The military has for decades invoked its duty to defend the monarchy to justify its intervention in politics.
Military government leader Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said after the king's death that security was his top priority and he ordered extra troops deployed around the country.
Thailand has endured bomb attacks and economic worries recently while rivalry simmers between the military-led establishment and populist political forces after a decade of turmoil including two coups and deadly protests.
The junta has promised an election next year and pushed through a constitution to ensure its oversight of civilian governments. It looks firmly in control for a royal transition.
And so a king passes.