Sun, Oct 03, 2010 - Page 5 News List

Thai queen recovering in hospital after heart issue

AFP, BANGKOK

Thai Queen Sirikit looks at paintings -during a visit to the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow on July 4, 2007.

PHOTO: REUTERS

The Thai palace said yesterday that the kingdom’s 78-year-old queen was recovering after being admitted to a Bangkok hospital with a heart problem.

Queen Sirikit was taken to King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital late on Thursday with “symptoms of an irregular heartbeat,” according to a statement from the Thai Bureau of the Royal Household.

She continues to be monitored in the hospital, where she was visited on Friday by her husband King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who himself has been hospitalized for the past year.

“A team of royal physicians treated her with high frequency radio waves and her heart beat returned to normal in the Friday night of October 1,” the palace said.

Bhumibol, who is the world’s longest-reigning monarch and considered a demigod by many Thais, was seen arriving at the hospital in a wheelchair with royal aides, as hospital staff knelt and bowed in respect.

The couple’s daughter Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has visited and Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also arrived to pay his respects by signing a book of well wishes yesterday.

The king was admitted to Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital in September last year for treatment for a respiratory condition, although he has appeared in public several times since.

Bhumibol is seen as a unifying figure in a country riven by political unrest, although he remained largely silent during April and May’s anti-government “Red Shirt” protests that left 91 people dead.

He married Queen Sirikit, a distant cousin and ambassador’s daughter, in 1950, the same year as his coronation.

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