BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s 87-year-old king on Monday made a rare visit outside the hospital to observe development projects at his palace in Bangkok.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej took a one-hour trip from the riverside hospital where he has spent most of his time in recent years to see a rice mill and a solar energy exhibit at his royal residence in central Bangkok. He was wearing a yellow short-sleeved shirt as his wheelchair passed cheering crowds at the hospital.
The ailing monarch was admitted to Siriraj Hospital in October for a fever that the doctors said was caused by an infection. His hospitalization came a few months after he returned to his seaside palace south of Bangkok, following an almost four-year hospital stay that began in 2009 for a lung inflammation.
Worries about the king’s health and succession have contributed to Thailand’s political instability of the last eight years.
His wife, Queen Sirikit, apparently suffered a stroke in 2012. The 82-year-old queen has made almost no public appearances since she was admitted to the same hospital that year after experiencing symptoms indicative of a stroke. (end)