Thousands of well-wishers, many in tears, were overjoyed to see Their Majesties the King and the Queen leave Siriraj Hospital yesterday afternoon, where they have been convalescing, to return to their beloved Klai Kangwon Palace in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district.
The motorcade took two hours to arrive at the summer palace, where the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement the royals could rest and recuperate in a place with fresh air.
Oblivious to the blazing sun, huge throngs waited at the hospital, along the route and near the palace.
They waved flags with the King's insignia to greet the highly-revered monarch and express their love and loyalty to their Majesties, who were seen waving back at them.
Nakin Ratchatasuwan said this was the second time he had seen the royal couple off from Siriraj Hospital.
"Last year, I felt happy and cheered up so I came again. The weather was really hot but no one seemed to mind," he said.
He had arrived late and was looking for a spot when officials said their Majesties' convoy was approaching. "An old woman then made some space for me, saying 'you can sit with me, we're children of the same father (the King)'.
"When I saw the head of the motorcade, I had tears in my eyes, but I wiped them away quickly for fear that I would be unable to see them clearly when they passed by," he said.
"I saw the Queen as she turned toward me and waved, while the King turned the other way."
He was glad that their health had improved and they could return to the palace. Staying in limited environs at the hospital for a long time would surely make them uncomfortable.
The sea breeze at Klai Kangwon Palace would definitely be better for their health, he said.
Angkhana Tongpool joined the event with Japanese friends Tomofumi Nagashima and his wife; Warangkana. "I am determined to see their Majesties once in my life because their projects help develop my native home in Phetchburi province," Angkhana said. "I really wept when I saw them pass in the motorcade.
She said her Japanese friend had asked to see their Majesties off to Hua Hin.He was well prepared as he brought his suit along so he could go to a function after.
"When the motorcade passed, he shouted Long Live the King loudly and in Thai. He told me after that he was very happy although he saw the monarchs [only] briefly," she said.
Their Majesties travelled in separate vehicles.
Watchara Changsri was visiting Hua Hin with his family and about to head back to Bangkok when he heard the news that Their Majesties had left Siriraj for Hua Hin. He decided to stop on the way.
"When the motorcade moved past me, although it was very quick, my family and I felt uplifted and excited. We did not feel the heat at that moment," he said.
Their Majesties have been staying in Siriraj Hospital since late last year for thorough medical check-ups.