Thai king leaves hospital for palace visit

Thailand`s revered king left hospital Wednesday briefly for the first time since February, travelling to the Grand Palace for celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of his coronation.

Updated: May 05, 2010, 15:48 PM IST

Bangkok: Thailand`s revered king left
hospital Wednesday briefly for the first time since February,
travelling to the Grand Palace for celebrations to mark the
60th anniversary of his coronation.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world`s longest reigning
monarch and considered a demi-god by many Thais, left Siriraj
hospital in a wheelchair, wearing the customary white royal
uniform, television footage showed.

Accompanied by Queen Sirikit, Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn and other members of the royal family, he was
driven to the palace in a motorcade as flag-waving
well-wishers lined the streets along the way.

The visit lasted about one hour and the king later
returned to hospital, a spokeswoman at the facility said.

The 82-year-old monarch was admitted to hospital in
September for treatment of a respiratory condition. He has
appeared in public several times since then but has made no
public comment on Thailand`s recent political turmoil.

The king has no official political role but has been a
stabilising force during six turbulent decades on the throne.

During a 1992 uprising the monarch chastised both the
military and protest leaders, effectively bringing the
violence to an end.

He spoke on television last week for the first time since
anti-government protests began in mid-March, talking of the
need for peace, but avoided specific mention of the crisis as
he addressed newly appointed judges.

PTI