Cries of joy as King makes public appearance

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Watched by a large crowd of well-wishers, the monarch, in a bright blue shirt and a pair of dark trousers, travelled in a wheelchair from the Chalerm Phra Kiat building towards a statue of King Rama V, his grandfather, in the nearby Siammintr building, to pay his respects.

His Majesty was marking Piya Maharaj Day, which honours the late king.

The King then paid his respects to Her Royal Highness Princess Sri Nagarindra, the Princess Mother, before her statue at the nearby Centennial Pavilion. A large number of well-wishers, many brimming with tears of joy, hailed “Long Live the King” during his 20-minute stay in the grounds of the hospital compound.

His Majesty smiled at the crowd and paused briefly to chat with some of them along the way. He then returned to the Chalerm Phra Kiat building to continue his treatment.

The Royal Household Bureau issued its 33rd statement on Thursday, saying His Majesty the King’s condition remained good as he had gained strength and could now sleep and eat normally. Medication would be further administered, and, at a later stage, supplementary food would be given to the monarch, said the statement, which the bureau said was the last concerning details of his symptoms and doctors’ treatments.

At the Asean Summit in Hua Hin, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong signed a get-well message at a hotel hosting the event, giving “the highest respects to His Majesty on behalf of the Singapore government and people”, and “wishing him good health and speedy recovery.”

People began converging at Siriraj since early morning, because they had earlier heard that the monarch would show up, coupled with the fact it was a public holiday.

Among those who signed get-well messages were a representative of Prince Albert of Monaco, the newly-appointed Thailand national football team coach Bryan Robson and all members of the national squad, and freshly-crowned Miss Teen Thailand 2009 Stephanie Avanik and two runners-up.

Others who signed get-well messages were 117 novice monks from a temple in Chachoengsao province who were ordained to make merit to His Majesty. Robson said he realised how Thai people revered and respected His Majesty and admired the way they showed their respect for him.

Somthawil Chuang-arun, 78, who came with her daughter and grand-daughter, said it was a blessing for her as it was the first time she had seen His Majesty.

The Nation

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