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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 10:35 GMT
Thai King sparks pink shirt craze
Thai woman holds up a pink shirt
Clothing factories are working flat out to keep up with demand
Clothing stores in Thailand have seen a rush to buy pink shirts, thanks to a fashion craze sparked by the country's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Thais have been queuing in their hundreds to buy the shirts ever since the King left hospital last month wearing both a pink shirt and blazer.

The Phufa fashion chain said it had sold 40,000 pink shirts this month.

"Our factory is making these shirts every day, every minute day and night," said a spokeswoman for the company.

"We had no idea they would be this popular."

Other colours

King Bhumibol spent three weeks in hospital last month having treatment for heart problems and other ailments.

Wearing pink brings the king luck. I don't want him to be sick
Rose Tarin, civil servant

Thai commentators said pink first became an important colour for him earlier this year, when royal astrologers determined it was a good colour for his health.

On that recommendation, a pink royal crest was designed for his 80th birthday on 5 December.

Civil servant Rose Tarin, 56, recently camped outside a clothing store from 4am to ensure she was able to buy one of the latest shipments of pink shirts.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej
The King wore a pink shirt and jacket when leaving hospital

"Wearing pink brings the king luck. I don't want him to be sick," she said.

The King, who has traditionally always worn dark suits in public, has now also taken to wearing a range of other brightly coloured items.

This has led to Thai newspapers predicting runs on green and blue shirts.

The world's longest serving monarch, King Bhumibol is regarded by some as semi-divine and his picture hangs in most Thai homes.

Although he has no official political role, he is seen as the country's moral authority.

Last year he helped to restore calm following the military coup.

The rush for pink shirts is not the first fashion craze he has started.

Since King Bhumibol's 60th anniversary on the throne in 2006, many Thais have worn bright yellow shirts every Monday, because that was the day of the week on which he was born.

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