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Thai king a no-show for birthday address

Amid reports he was "mildly" sick, according to the crown prince, the Thai king failed to turn up to deliver his annual birthday-eve speech on Thursday.

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AFP - Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej is "mildly" sick and cannot deliver his annual birthday-eve speech, his children said on Thursday.

The last minute cancellation came as Thais were waiting for the world's longest reigning monarch to offer guidance amid a political crisis that earlier this week crippled the country's airports.

"His Majesty the King is mildly sick," Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn said in a broadcast on national radio as millions of Thais tuned in and more than 20,000 people waited at the king's official Bangkok residence.

The king turns 81 on Friday.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the king's daughter, said in the same broadcast that his condition was "not serious", adding that he "has a blockage in his throat and has poor appetite."

"Yesterday evening when I went to see him he could eat properly, but today he has inflammation of his oesophagus," said Princess Sirindhorn.

"He is unable to eat and he received intravenous saline solution, he has a lot of phlegm causing him to be unhappy, fatigued, but he has no fever," the princess added.

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