King of Bhutan Weds, Will Visit Japan with Queen Soon

Bhutan Royal Wedding
The King and Queen of Bhutan after their wedding ceremony on October 13. Photo by Eki Arai.

King of Bhutan Weds, Will Visit Japan with Queen Soon
Yomiuri Shimbun: 新婚のブータン国王夫妻、国賓として訪日へ
Eki Arai reporting from Punakha, Western Bhutan October 13, 2011

On October 13 in Punakha, the ancient capital of the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (age 31) married Jetsun Pema (21), a woman from a common family.

The ceremony was held in Punakha Dzong, which doubles as a monastery and a state administrative center. It strictly followed traditional customs. Afterward, the bride and groom went to the plaza, where tens of thousands of citizens were gathered, and enjoyed a traditional dance while receiving well wishes.

Under the direction of the former king, Bhutan’s government changed from a hereditary monarchy to a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy in 2008. The current king, who took the throne the same year, is open-hearted and popular, and “he is playing a centripetal role in the country during this time of transition,” in the words of the editor-in-chief of the local newspaper.

The new queen’s father was a pilot for the national airline. She has studied abroad in India and England. It seems the crowning of a queen from a common family is having a positive influence on the democratization of the country.

Since the new king and queen announced their plans to wed in May, they have frequently made official visits together, but in November, they will make their first foreign tour as husband and wife, and they are planning to visit Japan. They are also considering visiting the Great Tōhoku Earthquake disaster area.






(2011年10月13日20時32分 読売新聞)

Explore posts in the same categories: Interesting Places, Politics, Translations


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