BANGKOK — Thailand’s 87-year-old king returned to his summer palace today after spending seven months in a hospital in Bangkok.
Hundreds of well-wishers lined the roads as King Bhumibol left Siriaj Hospital, accompanied by Queen Sirikit, who waved to the crowds. She had not been seen in public since last September.
The royal motorcade took King Bhumibol and 82-year-old Queen Sirikit to Klaikangwon Palace, their seaside retreat in Prachuap Kiri Khan province.
King Bhumibol was admitted to the Siriraj Hospital in October 2014 with a high fever. He later underwent a surgery to remove his gallbladder.
His Majesty has made three public appearances since he was admitted to the hospital, including a recent Coronation Day ceremony at the Grand Palace on 5 May.
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.
One well-wisher, 49-year-old Anong Wongwan, said she and her three relatives slept in their car last night outside a gas station near Klaikangwon Palace to secure front row seat to watch the royal motorcade.
Meanwhile, 60-year-old Kamolrat Wiriyaphap sold small 5 baht royal flags for well-wishers to wave. She said she does not charge poor or elderly people for the flags.
"I want Their Majesties to see many people waving the flags, so they will know that many people love them," Kamolrat said.
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