Thailand’s revered king returned to hospital early Sunday after a brief outing to his Bangkok palace, one of few appearances in public since being admitted five months ago, a hospital official said.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch and regarded as a demi-god by many Thais, attended a private function at his Chitralada Palace on Saturday night, local media reported.
Television footage showed the king, wearing a pink shirt, in his wheelchair viewing the river in front of the Siriraj hospital in Bangkok, paying homage to a statue of Buddha and being driven to the palace in a motorcade.
“His Majesty went back to the hospital at 1:00 am,” a hospital official said on condition of anonymity.
The 82-year-old monarch has been a stabilising force during six politically turbulent decades on the throne, but Thailand has been rocked by four years of rival political protests that have sometimes turned violent.
King Bhumibol was admitted to Siriraj hospital on September 19 with a lung infection and fever. He has appeared in public several times since then.