Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been hospitalized more than two months, will make a public appearance to celebrate his 82nd birthday this weekend but will not deliver a traditional annual speech, the palace said Monday.
The royal statement provided no update on the medical condition of Bhumibol, the world's longest-reigning monarch, whose health has been a matter of nationwide concern since he was admitted to a Bangkok hospital Sept. 19. At the time, his symptoms were described as fever, fatigue and lack of appetite.
Bhumibol has been on the throne for 63 years and is widely revered in Thailand. His Dec. 5 birthday is typically celebrated with several days of fanfare that start with the king presiding over an annual military parade in his honour. This year's military parade, which was scheduled for Wednesday, will be postponed, said the statement from the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary.
Bhumibol's annual speech _ due to be televised Friday on the eve of his birthday _ has also been postponed, the statement said. This will be the second consecutive year the ailing king has had to cancel his widely watched address on national issues due to health reasons.
His Majesty will appear in front of members of the royal family, government officials and members of Parliament on the morning of his birthday Saturday at the Grand Palace, the statement said. The king last appeared in public on Nov. 2, when he was taken out of his hospital in a wheelchair to celebrate a
national holiday. He appeared alert but weak. © GPD, AP