Thai King Makes Public Appearance on 85th Birthday

The AP reports:

Vast crowds of devoted Thais turned out Wednesday to catch a brief glimpse of their beloved king as the world’s longest-reigning monarch celebrated his 85th birthday with a rare public appearance.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej sat on a throne on a balcony overlooking a plaza packed with a crowd that police estimated at 200,000 as he delivered a brief homily on national harmony.

The WSJ says:

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej – the world’s longest-reigning monarch – emerged from the hospital Wednesday to speak to his country and mark his 85th birthday, calling for unity in the politically fractured nation.

The monarch said that he had always believed “that your best wishes and goodwill to each other is an important key to making unity happen,” speaking softly at the balcony of the Dusit Palace while seated in a golden throne. “If Thais keep this morality in mind, I hope that Thailand will … maintain its strength in the long run.”

And the BBC has some video footage.