BANGKOK — His Majesty the King's departure from Siriraj Hospital, where he has been receiving treatment for the past five months, was abruptly cancelled today.
Officials at the Royal Household Bureau notified reporters at news agencies in Bangkok this morning that King Bhumibol would be leaving the hospital and returning to Suan Chitralada Palace, his official royal residence in Bangkok, at 6 pm today.
The 87-year-old monarch has been residing at Siriraj Hospital since October 2014, when he was admitted with a fever. He later underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder, palace officials said.
After news about his appearance was reported on a number of media sites, crowds of well-wishers lined the roads between Siriraj Hospital and Suan Chitralada Palace in hope of catching a glimpse of the royal motorcade.
Shortly before 6pm however, palace officials informed reporters that the King would not be leaving. They did not provide any explanation for the change of plan.
In a similar incident, His Majesty was scheduled to appear at the Grand Palace on his 87th birthday on 5 December 2014, but the appearance was canceled due to health concerns.
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.