Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) — Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej greeted well-wishers in Bangkok today to celebrate his 82nd birthday, his third public appearance since he was hospitalized 11 weeks ago for symptoms of pneumonia.
National television showed the world’s longest-reigning monarch, who bypassed an annual birthday speech and other events because of the illness, leaving the hospital in an electric wheelchair. People lining the road from to the grand palace waved flags and yelled “Long live the king.” He returned to the hospital about an hour later.
“My happiness comes from the development, security and normalcy of the nation,” the king said in a brief response to well-wishers broadcast on television. He asked the nation’s officials and people to perform their duties “for the benefit of the nation.”
The king’s appearance may reassure investors after concerns over his health two months ago led to the benchmark SET Index’s biggest two-day loss in a year. The monarch has served as head of state through 15 successful or attempted coups and 27 changes of prime minister in more than six decades on the throne.