Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn said, "We love them all the same" of protesters who seek to curb his powers and he called Thailand "the land of compromise" on Sunday in his first direct public comments on months of demonstrations.
The king responded to Channel 4 News questions during a walkabout with thousands of yellow-shirted royalists, putting on their biggest show of support since the start of protests that also seek the removal of the government.
When asked what he would say to the protesters, the king said, "We love them all the same." Asked if there was room for compromise, he said "Thailand is the land of compromise."
The Palace has made no official comment on protests that began by seeking the departure of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha before breaking a longstanding taboo by calling for curbs on the king's powers.
Protesters want to reverse changes that gave him personal control of some army units and a palace fortune valued in tens of billions of U.S. dollars.
The biggest protests have drawn tens of thousands of people. There was no official estimate for Sunday's crowd.
Royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom, who has been trying to rally people to counter the protesters, said the king had told him to "help get the truth out."
Prayuth's government banned protests last month and arrested many of the best-known leaders, but the emergency measures were canceled after they backfired by drawing many more people onto Bangkok streets.
Prayuth has said he will not resign and rejects accusations that elections last year were engineered for his benefit.
(With input from Reuters)