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Thais celebrate long-serving king's 85th birthday

Royal Household Bureau via EPA

Thai people wearing yellow shirts flock to Royal Plaza ahead of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej's public appearance during 85th birthday celebrations on the balcony of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 5.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Thai people, wearing yellow, wave flags as tens of thousands come to pay respect to Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej as he makes a rare public appearance on the occasion of his his 85th birthday, Dec. 5, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Thai people, wearing yellow, come to pay respect to Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej as he makes a rare public appearance on the occasion of his his 85th birthday, Dec. 5, in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Kerek Wongsa / Reuters

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaves the Siriraj Hospital for the Anatasamakom Throne Hall in Bangkok, Dec. 5.

Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

A volunteer carries a woman as she fainted before Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrived for a ceremony outside the Anatasamakom Throne Hall in Bangkok, Dec. 5.

Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of Bangkok and crowded into the city's Royal Plaza to pay tribute to King Bhumibol Adulyadej on his 85th birthday. The world's longest-reigning monarch was hospitalized in September 2009 and has since taken up permanent residence at the Siriraj Hospital. He appeared on the ceremonial balcony before crowds wearing yellow clothing, the color associated with the monarchy and adopted by the country’s royalists. Last month, the monarch met with President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The queen was not present for the king’s speech, but his son and heir-apparent, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, was at his side.

Royal Household Bureau via EPA

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, center, sitting next to his family members, from left to right: Princess Soamsawali Mahidol, his older daughter Princess Ubol Ratana, Princess Siribhachudabhorn, youngest daughter Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol, Princess Aditayadornkitikhun, Royal Consort Princess Srirasm, grandson Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, his son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his daughter Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Athit Perawongmetha / Getty Images

People hold up candles and sing a song honoring King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a ceremony celebrating the King's birthday on Dec. 5, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Thai royal nurses hold candles during celebrations for King Bhumibol Adulyadej 85th birthday, Dec. 5, in Bangkok, Thailand.