BANGKOK, Thailand -- The prince and princess of Wales arrived in Bangkok Wednesday as guests of the Thai king and queen for their first visit to Thailand, one of the world's oldest and strongest monarchies.
Charles and Diana were greeted by Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand as they stepped onto a long red carpet from a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 707.
The two princes inspected a 75-man honor guard under a blazing tropical sun. The Royal Thai Army band played the British national anthem and the personal anthem of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Diana, dressed in a knee-length black and white print with matching broad-brimmed hat, appeared drained by the heat and the long flight from Australia. She waited with Sirindhorn, who wore a long-sleeve traditional costume of turquoise Thai silk, before joining Charles and Vajiralongkorn in a reception room.
Nearly 100 reporters and photographers covered the arrival, some of them shouting at royal officials who blocked their view of the princes and princesses.
Charles, in a double-breasted beige suit, and Diana left in a white limousine. a spokeswoman said the royal couple would rest from their journey the rest of Wednesday.
The visit of Charles and Diana is to help celebrate Bhumibol's 60th birthday.
The birthday of the king was on Dec. 5, 1987, but celebrations continue until June when Bhumibol, with 42 years on the throne, becomes the longest-serving king in Thailand's 750 years of monarchy.
The royal couple arrived from Australia where they spent 10 days commemorating the 200th anniversary of the continent's first European settlement.