Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej greeted his subjects from the balcony of the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Monday as part of his 84th birthday celebration.
Thousands of Thais gathered to watch the king, who left a nearby hospital for the occasion. King Bhumibol makes few public appearances these days due to his poor health. Since September, 2009, he has spent most of his time in the Siriraj Hospital with fever and fatigue.
Nonetheless, he is said to have been carefully watching both the recent Prime Minister elections and the severe flooding that has swamped much of the country, including the capital.
The King's birthday appearance today will not only provide a healing force for his subjects in these hard times of flooding, but also ease the people's concern over his health, the Bangkok Post reported on Monday.
During his address, which was broadcast live on national television, the king spoke about both the flood and domestic politics, certainly the two most important topics in the country of late. The flood started earlier this summer, and the always devise-Thai political realm hasn't yet healed after the 2006 coup d'etat and exile of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Bhumibol urged the Thai people to to cooperate and fix problems to the best of your ability, especially now that our people are suffering from the floods.
The most important thing is you should not be split or fighting each other. We need to inspire and give each other confidence so that the work we do will be fruitful for the well-being of the people and the stability and security of the country, he stated.