Hundreds gather as Thai king prepares to leave hospital
BANGKOK (AFP) - Hundreds of flag-waving well-wishers gathered near a Bangkok hospital on Thursday as Thailand's revered but frail king prepared to move to his coastal palace after almost four years as an in-patient.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 85, treated as a near-deity in politically turbulent Thailand, is due to be discharged from the capital's Siriraj Hospital, where he has lived since September 2009.
The world's longest-serving monarch will travel to his residence in the seaside town of Hua Hin, about two hours' drive south of Bangkok, with 80-year-old Queen Sirikit, who has also been treated in hospital for a year.
"I got reconfirmation from the Royal Household Bureau that their majesties would leave Bangkok at 4:00pm today (5pm Singapore time)," said Mr Weera Sriwathanatrakoon, the governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan province where the residence is located.