BANGKOK (AP) — The king of Thailand wants to help ease Bangkok's legendary traffic jams and other inconveniences — and that means a few changes to the treatment of royals on the roads.
On Friday, authorities distributed 25,000 handbooks to police and other officials with guidelines for directing royal convoys and new protocol for royal appearances in public places.
The manual overturns several practices that had quietly irritated the public in a country where open criticism of the royal family is taboo.
Among the new rules: shopping malls do not have to shut if a royal family member shows up, and oncoming traffic will be permitted on the road opposite a royal convoy.
Palace officials said that the revered 84-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej himself initiated the new guidelines.