Friday, May 20, 2011
Royal Wedding 2011 - Himalayas Edition
(Photo from His Majesty's Facebook page)
The whole nation is overjoyed, with the exception of several thousand young ladies who heave heavy sighs of disappointment.
The king made the announcement today, May 20th, during his address to the 7th Session of Parliament (text of speech via Facebook).
"Today, at this auspicious gathering, I would like to make a short announcement to all the people of the 20 Dzongkhags.
As King, it is now time for me to marry. After much thought I have decided that the wedding shall be later this year.
Now, many will have their own idea of what a Queen should be like – that she should be uniquely beautiful, intelligent and graceful. I think with experience and time, one can grow into a dynamic person in any walk of life with the right effort. For the Queen, what is most important is that at all times, as an individual she must be a good human being, and as Queen, she must be unwavering in her commitment to serve the People and Country.
As my queen, I have found such a person and her name is Jetsun Pema. While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character. These qualities together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience will make her a great servant to the nation.
This union does not mean that I am starting my own family. From the very day I received the Dhar Ngay-Nga from the sacred Machhen, the people of the 20 Dzongkhags became my family. Such is the duty and privilege of all Kings of Bhutan. It is through this union, that I shall have a Queen who will support, and work with me, as I serve the People and Country.
The wedding will be in accordance with age-old tradition, to seek the blessings of our Guardian Deities. I ask the government not to make any plans for a grand celebration. The happiness of my beloved father and the blessings of our People will give me the greatest joy and happiness."
I haven't read any biographical info about the Queen-to-be yet. I don't know if she is one and the same person as the King's girlfriend who I had heard some details about (you know how it is). Update: Bhutan Observer reports that future queen is a 20 year old international relations student and is from Thimphu. 2nd Update: Business Bhutan has a more thorough biography of Jetsun Pema which confirms that she is indeed the girlfriend of the king who I'd heard about quite some time ago.
On the day William and Kate's wedding was announced last fall, I was having lunch at The Zone Cafe in Thimphu. I overheard two very posh Bhutanese ladies discussing the British royal engagement, saying, "I wonder if this will give someone any big ideas." Wise women!
Photos from His Majesty's Facebook page
Further update since my Google results are blowing up with searches for pictures of Jetsun Pema: Riding the Elephant blog has posted this more casual photo of His Majesty the King of Bhutan and his fiancee/future queen Jetsun Pema, taken on the day the engagement was announced. She looks very queenly, wouldn't you say? And he looks very happy!
For later photos of the couple, see HERE!
For a description of what the King and Queen wore to be married, see HERE!