HM the King's Birthday Appearance Canceled Over Health Concerns

Well-wishers celebrating the King's birthday in Bangkok on 5 December. [Matichon].

BANGKOK — The King of Thailand will not make a public appearance on his birthday today after doctors examined his medical condition last night, the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement today.

"His Majesty's doctors have requested that the King not leave the hospital today for an audience at the Amarin Vinitchai Hall," the statement says. 

The monarch, who turns 87 years old today, was expected to leave Sririaj Hospital to make a brief public appearance and speech at the Grand Palace for his birthday.

Hundreds of Thais had been camping out by the Bangkok hospital in yellow shirts – the King's colour – hoping to catch a glimpse of the revered monarch. 

King Bhumibol's birthday is a national holiday in Thailand and also considered "Father's Day." 

His Majesty was rushed to Sririaj Hospital two months ago with a high fever and rapid heartbeat. The king later underwent a surgery to remove his gallbladder, which was said to be infected. 

On 13 November, the palace said His Majesty was also suffering from an intestinal infection, but that his overall health was improving. 

The king's frail health is a cause of anxiety for many Thais. The monarch is widely credited with bringing stability to the Kingdom during his more than 60 years on the throne.

King Bhumbiol's last public appearance was on 23 November when he granted an audience to Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Prime Minister and former army chief who led the 22 May coup.

 

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