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Thai king leaves hospital for cousin's funeral

Thai king leaves hospital for cousin's funeral

Thailand's frail king left the hospital where he has been staying for more than two years on Monday for a rare public appearance at the funeral of his cousin.

Tuesday 10 April 2012, 01:55PM


King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, left Siriraj hospital in a wheelchair, wearing the customary white royal uniform and a black armband for the memorial rites of Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda.

Together with his wife Queen Sirikit, he lit candles and incense at a specially constructed royal crematorium at the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground in Bangkok's historic district attended by saffron-robed monks and top officials including Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The monarch, now 84, was admitted to hospital in September 2009 to be treated for a respiratory condition and has rarely left, aside from a few public appearances. He was due to return to hospital after the funeral.

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Princess Bejaratana, the only child of late King Vajiravudh, died in July 2011 from a blood infection at the age of 85 and had lain in state since then at the Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.

Her remains were transported in a large golden urn atop a gilded teak chariot pulled by more than 200 men in one of three processions ahead of her cremation due to be held later Monday, which was declared a special holiday.

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