BANGKOK – Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej has canceled public appearances set for his 87th birthday on the advice of doctors at the Bangkok hospital where he was admitted last October, palace officials said in a statement released Friday.
The king had been scheduled to make an appearance in the throne hall of the Grand Palace on the occasion of his 87th birthday on Friday accompanied by the queen, the crown prince and other members of the royal family.
The decision was taken after doctors at the Siriraj Hospital examined him and declared him medically unfit to attend the event, according to PBS, the national public TV channel.
Thousands of people have been gathering outside the hospital since Thursday night dressed in yellow, the color associated with the monarchy, and singing the national hymn and songs wishing him on his birthday.
King Bhumibol, who was also hospitalized between 2009-13, was admitted on Oct. 3 for an operation to remove his gall bladder.
The world’s longest-reigning monarch, divides his time between his residence in Bangkok and the royal family’s summer palace in Hua Hin to the south of the capital.
His only son and heir to the throne, Vajiralongkorn, 62, however, does not enjoy the same popularity as his father, who is revered by most Thais and immensely popular with the local media.