Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaves hospital to visit projects at his Bangkok palace. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej left hospital on Monday to visit his Bangkok palace, the first such trip since he was admitted last year, which is likely to comfort many who revere him as the arbiter of decades-long, sometimes violent, political divisions. Bhumibol, 87, the world's longest-reigning monarch and considered "father" of the nation, was admitted to Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital in October where he underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder and treatment for an intestinal infection. The king's absence during an annual public audience to mark his birthday in December heightened anxiety over his health. A Reuters reporter at the scene saw the king leave in a royal convoy and return to the hospital after spending around an hour at the palace. During the trip King Adulyadej visited various projects at Chitralada, including an experimental rice mill and a solar house. Some well-wishers lined the streets calling out "Long live the king" as Bhumibol, wearing a yellow checked shirt, waved back. Bhumibol has in the past intervened during Thailand's often messy political show downs. In 2006, the king called on judges to resolve a pending constitutional crisis.