Bangkok – The Thai capital Bangkok saw an outpouring of support for King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Tuesday amid growing anxiety over his health.
Thais flocked to the royal palace, temples and the hospital where the revered but ailing king is being treated, to pray for his recovery.
A statement from the royal household on Sunday saying that Bhumibol’s condition was “unstable” sent Thai stocks diving 3.6 per cent on Monday.
The announcement – the second on the king’s health this month – has raised anxiety over the world’s longest reigning monarch and the royal succession.
Thousands of well-wishers visited the royal palace and hospital to pay respects to the king.
Older visitors told dpa they had come despite poor health.
“I’m not tired at all coming to the hospital,” said Nokyung Piromkaew, 78, adding that she wept and prayed once she learned of the news.
“I have always wanted to sign the well-wishing book but my legs were hurting too much,” Punngam Vorachart, 75, who visited the royal palace in a wheelchair, told dpa.
Among the well-wishers are foreign delegates, with the US ambassador Glyn T. Davies and Vietnam ambassador Nguyen Tat Thanh also paying a visit on Tuesday.
Thais also took to social media, with the hashtag #longlivetheking both in Thai and in English flooding the internet.
People in pink T-shirts are seen throughout the kingdom on Tuesday to show solidarity and support. Pink is considered to represent good health.
The 88-year-old monarch is seen as a unifying figure in Thailand. His last public appearance was on January 11, when he was seen meeting with hospital staff.