A happy day for Thailand: King ready to leave hospital after 4 years

No matter if one is pro or antigovernment, everyone is united in their appreciation and love of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

A happy day for Thailand: King ready to leave hospital after 4 years

No matter if one is pro or antigovernment, everyone is united in their appreciation and love of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The 85 year old monarch was hospitalized in Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital since September 2009 and is due to be discharged today. This is according to the governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan province where the King’s palace is located.

He will travel to his residence in the seaside town of Hua Hin, about two hours’ drive south of Bangkok, with 80-year-old Queen Sirikit, who has also been treated in hospital for a year.

“I got reconfirmation from the Royal Household Bureau that their majesties would leave Bangkok at 4pm today (5pm Singapore time),” Mr. Weera told the news agency AFP

Hundreds of flag-waving well-wishers, citizens and tourists gathered near a Bangkok hospital on Thursday as Thailand’s revered but frail king prepared to move to his coastal palace after almost four years as an in-patient.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 85, treated as a near-deity in politically turbulent Thailand, is due to be discharged from the capital’s Siriraj Hospital, where he has lived since September 2009.

The world’s longest-serving monarch will travel to his residence in the seaside town of Hua Hin, about two hours’ drive south of Bangkok, with 80-year-old Queen Sirikit, who has also been treated in hospital for a year.
“I got reconfirmation from the Royal Household Bureau that their majesties would leave Bangkok at 4pm [yesterday],” said Weera Sriwathanatrakoon, the governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan province where the residence is located.
Mainly middle-aged well-wishers, clad in the royal colors of yellow and pink, lined the streets near the hospital in anticipation of the monarch’s appearance, shouting “Long live the king!” at every passing car.

Brandishing a picture of the royal couple, the Thai national flag and a yellow flag that read “I love the king”, Chatprapa Poomman said she was happy to take time off from her job as a grocer to show her devotion.
“I am the most happy. I have come here eight or nine times, whenever I know that he will appear,” said the 53-year-old, adding that she was wearing pink because she had heard that the color would aid the royal recovery.

Latest eTN Podcast

Television showed banners lining the streets of Hua Hin in preparation for the royal visit, with large posters of the king and queen adorned with offerings.

“I think that more than ten thousand Hua Hin residents will turn out to greet the king because they have been expecting him,” Weera said.
He said he did not know how long the royal couple would stay at the seaside residence — which is called Klai Kangwon, or “far from worries” — a longtime favorite of the royals.

Royal physician Udom Kachintorn assured the public that the royal couple would be treated by the same number of doctors and nurses as they had in the hospital.

“We offer the highest degree of medical preparation,” he told Channel 3 television station.

The palace has not yet confirmed the royal schedule and there has been no official explanation for the move.

The elderly monarch, who with 67 years on the throne is the world’s longest-serving royal, has suffered from a range of ailments since being admitted with respiratory problems in 2009.

He suffered a minor brain bleed in July 2012, but has since made several official appearances including meeting Barack Obama during the US president’s visit to the country in November.

The queen has largely disappeared from public life since July 2012, when she was admitted to Siriraj Hospital with what doctors termed a slight loss of blood flow to the brain.

The king has no official political role but called for stability during his birthday celebrations in December.

Thailand has been rocked by sporadic rival street protests for years, with ultra-royalist nationalist “Yellow Shirts” and rural working-class “Red Shirts” both taking to the streets.

The country is again gearing up for anti-government protests in central Bangkok, with a newly-formed coalition of ultra-royalist groups who despise the Puea Thai ruling party and its exiled figurehead Thaksin Shinawatra vowing to rally from Sunday.

Fill out my online form.
CATEGORIES
Follow on Feedly