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Colourful celebrations as the King of Thailand marks his 85th birthday

Thailand's capital Bangkok was a sea of colour and celebrations as some 200,000 people turned out in their droves to mark their monarch's 85th birthday.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej – who is the world's longest serving head of state – watched the euphoria unfold from the balcony of the Grand Palace. The December 5 celebrations which mark the sovereign's birthday are known as Wan Chalerm and bring an outpouring of love and reverence by Thai people throughout the country and around the world.

The date is a national holiday and is also celebrated as Father's Day. It is reflective of the depth of feeling that exists for the frail royal, who holds a special place in people's hearts but limits his public appearances due to poor health.

As well as enjoying rare contact with his subjects, King Bhumibol was also surrounded by the comfort of his family, including his daughters, the princesses Ubolratana, Chulabhorn and Sirindhorn. His son and heir Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn was also present, although Thailand's queen Sirikit missed the lavish event on the advice of her doctors.

The united royal family all wore yellow – the colour which is identified with the king and is deeply symbolic.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej is surrounded by his daugthers Princess Ubolratana (L), Chulabhorn (2L), His son Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn (2R) and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the grand occasion of his his 85th birthday 

Thai people, wearing yellow, wave flags as tens of thousands come to pay respect to King Bhumibol 

Stunning views of the lavish Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand 

A Thai Royal Guard of Honour marches in formation as the king marks his 85th birthday 

More members of the Royal Guard attend a ceremony at the Ananta Samakhom Throne hall in Bangkok 

All of the guards join forces for a colourful formation in honour of their monarch, who is the longest serving head of state in the world 

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