King: Goodwill and compassion crucial
- Published: 5/12/2012 at 01:22 PM
- Online news:
A jubilant, crowd-packed Royal Plaza and Ratchadamnoen Avenue, way down to Democracy Monument, fell quiet as more than 200,000 well-wishers in yellow listened to His Majesty the King's birthday speech from the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall balcony on Wednesday.
After the conclusion of the royal anthem, they broke out in a spontaneous chant, "Song Phra Chareon, Song Phra Chareon (Long Live the King, Long Live the King)'', that continued long after he returned to his royal suite at Siriraj Hospital.
Many of them could not hold back tears on seeing His Majesty and his royal motorcade passing them by as he was leaving the throne hall. Many thousands more were waiting to see him along the roads and at the hospital.
"I was very happy, even though I just got a glimpse of His Majesty as his car was passing,'' Nipha Torwua from Nonthaburi said in tears, outside Siriraj Hospital.
HM the King leaves Siriraj Hospital for the Grand Audience at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.
(Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
His Majesty's grand audience was broadcast live and was watched by millions of people across the country, many of whom waved and cheered at the picture on their TV set. Children in villages were heard spontaneously singing "Song Phra Chareon, Song Phra Chareon".
It has been six years since His Majesty last gave a grand audience at Ananta Samakhom.
After giving his speech, His Majesty was joined on the balcony by members of the royal family including His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and HRH Princess Chulabhorn to celebrate the King's 85th birthday.
The Crown Prince offered him best wishes on behalf of all royal family members, followed by leaders of the administrative, legislative and judicial branches and the armed forces.
The Crown Prince said on behalf of the family that everybody was determined to work for the utmost benefit of the country and to serve the King. The King was an inspiration for the people of the country, he added.
In his birthday speech, the King made direct reference to the huge turnout.
"The goodwill and harmony from you that I have witnessed today makes me feel joyful and serves as my encouragement,'' he said.
"The blessings, vows and promises that you have uttered are very impressive. I would like to thank you all, as well as every member of the Thai public, for the goodwill and cordiality.
"I have always believed that your goodwill and compassion are crucial to the development of harmony, both among groups of people and in the entire nation.
"If Thai people cherish this value in their hearts, the Thai nation will certainly remain safe and stable, no matter what circumstance it finds itself in.''
Royal Guards from 12 battalions also renewed their oath of allegiance before His Majesty at Ananta Samakhom on Wednesday.
Across the country people wore yellow T-shirts as all provinces held activities to celebrate the King's birthday, including offering people opportunities to send him their best wishes. Many stores and malls had books where they could sign their names and thoughts.
"I was very grateful because His Majesty has done so many things to better the lives of hilltribe people,'' said Traiphob Sae Yang, the Doi Pui village chief in Chiang Mai.
The grand audience on Wednesday was the 10th in the King's reign.
The last time the King appeared on the Amanta Samakhom balcony was in 2006, to mark the 60th anniversary of his accession to the throne.
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