Dec. 5 - Revered Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej celebrates his 86th birthday in Hua Hin, with crowds waving yellow flags as they line the streets to see his motorcade. Rough Cut (No reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Thousands of Thais lined the streets to Klai Kangwon Palace in the seaside town of Hua Hin on Thursday (December 5), to celebrate King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 86th birthday. Well-wishers waved yellow flags of the Thai Monarchy and sang the king's anthem while shouting "Love Live the King." The world's longest-reigning monarch, the 86-year-old king is the only one most Thais have ever known and has been a unifying father figure who has defused previous crises in his reign. King Bhumibol, who left hospital in July after a four-year stay, looked somber and spoke slowly, pausing at times, as he read out his address. The birthday ceremony was held at the king's palace in Hua Hin, about 190 km (118 miles) south of Bangkok, where he moved with Queen Sirikit when he left hospital. In his birthday address, he called on Thais to do their duty for the security of the country, but avoided making direct reference to the latest political turmoil. Among those in attendance in formal suits and dress uniforms was the prime minister, the heads of the armed forces and police, top bureaucrats and the leader of the opposition.