Tying the knot
Bhutan’s King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk recently married his commoner bride, 21-year-old student Jetsun Pema. The lavish ceremony that took place at a 17th century monastic fortress was widely celebrated with commemorative plates, badges and posters distributed throughout the nation. The couple was presented with a series of gifts symbolizing longevity, wisdom and other positive attributes. The formal ceremony also featured singers performing to traditional instruments and baby elephants dressed in Bhutanese robes. Though the wedding was grand, it did not feature any world leaders, celebrities or heads of state but was rather intended to be a Bhutanese family affair.
Oxford-educated, King Wangchuk took the throne after his father abdicated in 2006. The country today is a constitutional monarchy and King Wangchuk is expected to continue it. He is also largely known in Bhutan for enhancing development projects and pushing democratic reform that has established the current political system. Bhutan only allowed foreigners to enter the country in 1974 and did not have television till 1999. A small country known for its Gross National Happiness, claims that now that that King has married, its happiness is only increasing.