Jigme Khesar crowned as fifth king of Bhutan
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 28, an oxford scholar on Thursday became the youngest sovereign of the Himalayan kingdom after adorning the Bhutan's Raven Crown at a lavish coronation ceremony. He became the first king of democratic Bhutan as Bhuatan transformed to a democratic nation from a century-old monarchy system after holding the general election in March this year.
November 06, 2008 has become remarkable day for Bhutan as on this morning at 08:31a.m (local time), the small isolated Himalayan nation witnessed a historic moment of coronation ceremony of its fifth royal king amidst sounds of giant gongs and Buddhist hymns.
Former king and his father Jigme Singye Wangchuk (52) handed over his crown to the eldest son among the presence of his four queen mothers Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck and Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck and foreign dignitaries including Indian President Pratibha Patil, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley and ambassadors of 23 countries.
The coronation ceremony has been held among traditional rituals and celebrations. The entire Thimpu city (the capital of Bhutan) has been decorated. Jigme khesar, who was looking calm during the coronation ceremony, later interacted to media and said, “It is the greatest gift that I can ask for it.”
Bhutanese first democratically elected Prime Minister Thinley said, “This coronation is significant as it marks the end of an era (the former king's rule) and the beginning of a new chapter in Bhutan's history as the people has great hope and confidence on the new king.” “This coronation will further consolidate the country's sovereign independence and security and promote further unity, harmony, and peace in the kingdom,” added Thinley.
Describing about specific reason for selecting November 06, 2008 for coronation ceremony, PM said that three enlightened astrologers had jointly proposed this date as the most auspicious date for the historic occasion.
It is known that the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the most popular king so far had announced on December 2006 to relinquish the throne to his eldest son Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and to transform the nation from absolute rule to democratic nation for making parity of time. He also announced to step down gradually in the next few years to renovate the nation a complete independent democratic nation.
Generally the monarch of Bhutan rules throughout their life but under the new constitution – prepared by a group of Bhutanese and foreign law experts, which came into force in 2008 – the ruling king would have to take retirement by the age of 65.
But Jigme Singye Wangchuk had left the throne at the age of 52 and became the first king to introduce the democratic system in the country.
The newly crowned king and his father have been extremely popular among the common public as both of them mingle usually to public and even walk together with them.
The PM Thinley appraised this virtue of king and said, “The new King has a wise teacher in his father and he is certainly going to be a great King. He has amazing similarities with his father. He has already become a people’s King,”
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the eldest son of Jigme Singye Wangchuk’s third wife Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck. He has a younger sister and brother as well as four step sisters and three step brothers by his father's other three wives.
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