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Thousands of people in Thailand have taken to the streets of Bangkok to celebrate the King’s 85th birthday.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is the world’s longest reigning monarch, having ascended the throne on 9 June 1946.
Each year the day sees buildings and homes all over the country adorned with flags, portraits of His Majesty and bunting, predominantly in the royal colour of yellow.

Television images showed a sea of supporters of the revered king, many wearing yellow symbolising Monday, the day of his birth, and waving royal and Thai flags.

At least 200,000 people were expected to attend the speech from a balcony at the Anantasamakom Throne Hall in front of the Royal Plaza in the capital’s historic district.

Crowds lined the streets chanting “long live the king!” along the route of the royal motorcade as it made its way from the hospital where the king has lived for three years after suffering a respiratory illness in 2009.

Bhumibol, who has served for 66 years, suffered a minor brain bleed in July, but has since made several official appearances including meeting Barack Obama during the US president’s visit to the country last month.

Thailand’s Queen Sirikit was not among the members of the royal family accompanying the king on Wednesday.

Doctors treating the 80-year-old queen, who was diagnosed with a slight loss of blood flow to the brain after being taken ill in July, said she was too weak to attend the ceremony, according to a statement from the palace on Tuesday.

Any discussion of the royal family is extremely sensitive in politically-turbulent Thailand, where the palace has been silent over the organisation of the eventual succession.

Royal Plaza was the heart of anti-government demonstrations in November that saw clashes between police and protesters in the city.

The rally — attended by members of the influential monarchist “Yellow Shirts” — was the latest street unrest in Thailand’s long-running political crisis pitting Thai royalists against supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra and the current government led by his sister Yingluck.

HM the King Bhumibol Adulyadej celebrated his 84th birthday today along with members of the royal family and a public audience in the Chakri hall at the Grand Palace today.

During his address to the nation, HM the King said that a sustainable water management system must be developed and that all sides must work together to assist those who have been affected by floods.

He also said that the military and government should aim to work towards national stability, which will come when people in the country are living well and harmoniously.

HM the King pointed out that it was the duty of all sides to work together to their full potential to alleviate factors that create hardship to people.

The King pointed out that people were suffering as a result of the floods and cooperation was needed to sort the problem by setting up a sustainable water management system.

“The [water] projects that I’ve had discussed are only suggestions, not orders. But if the projects are beneficial and cost-effective, then implement them if possible,” the King said.

He added that it was vital that conflict be excluded from the process, replaced by moral support. This would allow for the nation to achieve happiness and add to the stability of the nation.

HM the King also hoped that the continue on a prosperous path, while observing formalities that consisted of renewal of the oath of allegiance by members of the Royal Guard, along with addresses by other dignitaries, including the Prime Minister.

Following the event, the world’s longest serving monarch proceeded to return to Siriraj Hospital, where crowds lined the streets chanted “Long Live the King” as the royal motorcade passed.

HM the King has been rarely seen in public following his admission to hospital in September 2009.

thailand_king_birth_dayKing Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch who is regarded as a demi-god by many Thais, was pushed in a wheelchair through the hospital grounds, wearing the customary full white royal uniform.
Thailand’s revered king left a Bangkok hospital on Saturday, according to an AFP reporter at the scene, to attend a ceremony at the royal palace to mark his 82nd birthday. The king, followed by his family, raised his hand to wave at a crowd of thousands of people who had gathered, wearing pink for good luck, to greet the revered monarch. They shouted: “Long live the king.”

The birthday of King Bhumibol, who is considered a unifying force in a politically turbulent nation, is marked by a public holiday and celebrated by Thais across the kingdom with fireworks and Buddhist rituals.

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej speaks during a ceremony at the Grand Palace in Bangkok December 5, 2009. Thailand’s aging monarch, King Bhumibol, appeared in public for the first time in more than a month on Saturday ahead of a royal ceremony to mark his 82nd birthday.

His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is due to represent his father at Buddhist ceremonies on Saturday evening and Sunday, and will preside over a garden party for diplomats on December 8.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been on the throne since 1946, quite a few more years than Britain’s Queen.

He is popular and respected. But there are concerns about what happens once he has gone. And with an Eton and Oxford-educated party leader who is battling against an older rival for political control of the country, it is a rather familiar scenario to readers in the UK.

It is not only King Bhumibol’s longevity and continuity that keeps Thais in awe but a widespread belief that this is the father of the country.

To the Western eye, Thailand is permeated with tangible and intangible levels of hierarchy based on age, status and wealth. Yet there is one very obvious and undisputed leader who has achieved almost quasi-deity status.

He is a constitutional king with no formal political role, but many regard the influental man as the only person who can unify the country, which has been divided by various political and other interest groups.

During his reign over the past six decades, he has introduced the self suffiency economy concept and initiated more than 3,000 royal projects to improve the livelihood of the mostly rural population.

He has also turned his residence at the Chitralada Palace into a R&D centre for agriculture, believed to be the only palace in the world that is surrounded by paddy fields, dairy farms, fruit and vegetable orchards as well as aquaculture ponds.


Bangkok is the best place in the country to enjoy the celebrations. Do remember that streets around Sanam Luang and Ratchadamnoen are prohibited to traffic. One can reach the area, and just stroll on the streets, traffic-free but brimming with people, watching the glittering sky.
Millions of Thais wore pink today to symbolise their wish for his good health while hundreds of thousands thronged the roads to try to take a glimpse of the King when his motorcade travelled from the hospital to the Grand Palace.


Meanwhile, thousands of well wishers turn up at Siriraj Hospital each day to pray for the king’s health. Doctors have insisted that the king has improved and he is not in anything approaching a serious condition. But his long stay at the hospital and continued absence from public view has fueled unease, speculation and rumors. Recently, the government arrested four people for allegedly spreading rumors about the king’s health on the internet, which, it claims, caused a stock market sell-off in October. Reporters Without Borders, an international media watchdog group, has said those arrested are scapegoats and the charges are baseless.


Thais throughout the country start celebrating HM the King’s 82th anniversary