(BANGKOK) — Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej made a rare public appearance Tuesday to mark the 65th anniversary of his coronation.
All television stations carried the event live, as the 87-year-old monarch emerged in a wheelchair from a Bangkok hospital, where he has taken up residence, and was driven through the capital’s historic district to the Grand Palace.
Buddhist monks led prayers as the king watched, before an audience of government and royal officials.
Thais lined the roads along the route, chanting “Long Live the King!” The palace had not announced if Bhumibol would appear for the ceremony, but crowds had gathered in anticipation of seeing the monarch. Tuesday was a national holiday.
Bhumibol has been hospitalized since last October when he had his gallbladder removed. It was the latest ailment and hospitalization for the king, who has faded from public life over the past several years and on rare outings looks visibly frail and does speak publicly.