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Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck ( born 21 February 1980) is the fifth and current reigning Druk Gyalpo or “Dragon King” of the Kingdom of Bhutan.  After his father Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne in his favour, he became King on 9 December 2006. A public coronation ceremony was held on 1 November 2008, an auspicious year that marked 100 years of monarchy in Bhutan.

Khesar is the eldest son of the fourth Dragon King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and his third wife, Queen Tshering Yangdon. He has a younger sister, Princess Dechen Yangzom, and brother, Prince Jigme Dorji, as well as four half-sisters and three half-brothers.

After completing his higher secondary studies at Yangchenphug High School, Bhutan, Khesar studied abroad at Phillips Academy, Cushing Academy and Wheaton College, all in the United States, before graduating from Magdalen College, University of Oxford, where he completed the Foreign Service Programme and International Relations.

The Crown Prince, popularly known to the people of Bhutan as ‘Dasho Khesar’, accompanied his father in his many tours throughout the Kingdom to meet and speak to the people. He also officially represented Bhutan on several international events. On 8 May 2002, he represented Bhutan at the 27th UN General Assembly and made his first speech to the United Nations where he addressed issues related to the welfare of millions of children around the globe to world leaders.  attended Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations on 12–13 June 2006 in Bangkok along with royals from 25 countries.  The youngest of the visiting royals, the 26-year-old prince caused a sensation, giving rise to a legion of female fans in Thailand. The Thai press dubbed him “Prince Charming,” publishing his photograph and running stories about him as well as Bhutan for several weeks after the event.

In December 2005, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck announced his intention to abdicate in his son’s favour in 2008, and that he would begin handing over responsibility to him immediately. On 9 December 2006, the former King issued a Royal Edict announcing his abdication, and transferred the throne to Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck who was officially crowned on 1 November 2008, in Punakha. Religious ceremonies and public celebrations were also held at Tashichhodzong and Changlimithang in Thimphu. The coronation ceremony comprised an ancient and colourful ritual, attended by thousands of foreign dignitaries, including the then President of India, Pratibha Patil.

CNN reported that, to welcome Khesar as King of Bhutan, people painted street signs, hung festive banners and decorated traffic circles with fresh flowers.

As he opened the session of parliament on Friday, 20 May 2011, the King announced his engagement to Jetsun Pema, born in Thimphu on 4 June 1990. They were married on 13 October 2011 in Punakha Dzong. The royal wedding was Bhutan’s largest media event in history. The royal wedding ceremony was held in Punakha followed by formal visits to different parts of the country. During the ceremony the King also received the Crown of the Druk Gyaltsuen (Queen) from the most sacred Machhen temple of the Dzong and bestowed it on Jetsun Pema, formally proclaiming her as Queen of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The wedding was held in traditional style with the “blessings of the guardian deities”.

On November 11, 2015, it was announced that the King and Queen of Bhutan are expecting their first child, a son, early next year. The king and queen announced via their Facebook page, the arrival of their son, who was born in Lingkana Palace in the capital city of Thimpu on 5 February 2016

 

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