15 October 2011

the Other Royal Wedding


“This is love: 
to fly toward a secret sky, 
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. 
First to let go of life. 
Finally, to take a step without feet.” RUMI

Bhutan's fifth Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) ,just got married.  With a degree in political science and economics from Oxford,  the now thirty one year old King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, ascended the throne in 2006.  A big Boston Celtics fan, Jigme married Jetsun Pena, age twenty one, this week after vowing to marry her when he was 17 and she was 7 at a family picnic. According to the King, then-prince , he got down on his knees and said "when you grow up, if I am single and not married and if you are single and not married, I would like you to be my wife, provided we still feel the same."

King Jigme’s father abdicated in 2006 to allow for parliamentary elections. Today, the country’s monarchy acts as a stabilizing force for its fledgling democracy.

The wedding took place at the Himalayan monastic fortress, Punakha Dzong Palace in Bhutan's ancient capital Punakha with celebrations continuing through the county for three days.

The brocade-embroidered crown Her Majesty Jetsun Pema Wangchuck donned on Thursday at the wedding ceremony in Punakha depicts two Ja Tsherings (phoenix) or the mythical longevity birds.The male and female birds symbolise the blissful relationship between the King and the Queen.
“It’s also a symbol of inseparability in method and wisdom,” Dasho Sangay Wangchug of the Privy Council, explained. The crown also has a khorlo or the wheel of dharma between the male and the female bird.
The wheel signifies the power that the King and the Queen is bestowed with to rule in a way that launches the country into a new era of continued peace and prosperity. The lotus beneath the khorlo is for purity of love and devotion for both the King and the Queen.
Lhadrip (scroll painter) Lopon Ugyen, who designed the crown and had it embroidered in Hong Kong, said the frame of the crown was carved in such a way that they accommodated all the strokes of different colours (bjadri).
The embroidery of the tshebum on the crown’s rear is also a symbol Amitayu or the Buddha of long life.
The overall dark blue borders is in keeping with the colour of the sky that is representative of the power she wields which is limitless like the open sky.  By Rinzin Wangchuck, (links with in this text)

The king and queen, wore heavily embroidered traditional attire in silks and woven textiles. Designer Manav Gangwani of Delhi designed some of the wedding clothes -tasked with maintaining Bhutanese heritage with added Indian and Mughal influences. Ritu Kumar, the grande dame of Indian fashion, has also designed wedding clothes for the bride, including the national outfit, Kira, made up of a wrap-around skirt worn over a crossover silk blouse and a jacket.

Jetsun is known for her sartorial choices already and according to Vogue IT, the couple combine their  country's traditional looks with fabrics and patterns of British heritage, not to mention shoes like Church's, which the king will never give up. (vogue IT)

 Jigme and Jetsun

When the couple's engagement was announced by the King in May he said of  Jetsun "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."


The King is one of 10 siblings born to the former king and his four wives, who are all sisters. Jetsun will be this King's only wife. 

Read from all about the nuptials ,Kuensel, Bhutan's Daily News site here
& the Hindustan Times here
& Vogue IT here



  1. Now that's a beautiful couple. He's one of the most handsome men I've ever seen.

  2. This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read or seen...I have always loved this part of the world......I have never seen it. My mother did....can you imagine??? in the twenties? She was in her early twenties! (born in 1907)

    There is no "theatre here" This is true love. Lovely to see.
    You can see the love in their faces

    It is magnificent to see! Thank you!!! for this!!!

  3. They look like a smart, young couple!

    I really hope the wheel, that signifies the power that the King and the Queen is bestowed with, does actually launch the country into a new era of continued peace and prosperity *sad sigh*. Somehow one feels they are facing an uphill battle *deeper sigh*.

  4. Beautiful and exquisite, all of it.

  5. How wonderful! She is absolutely beautiful. The king is extremely handsome and his portrait is on every shop, hotel, residence in Bhutan. the Thai ladies must be devastated as they are so mad about this handsome young king. Bhutan is a quiet magnificent country, still lost in time. I spend some time in Bhutan last years, trekking in the spectacular mountains and valleys, visiting the sacred Dzong, including the one where they were married. The king actually lives in a rather modest adobe, if we compare to our standards.
    Thank you for this post, i thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  6. Gaye learning about this King's philosophy for his countrymen was so refreshing. What an exquisite wedding! Fabulous images.


    Art by Karena

  7. this was brilliant!

    what a beautiful couple.

  8. I love this post! Thank you! Ruth Runberg

  9. Wonderful, thank you. There isn't much about the wedding in the States & though I can seek it out, things are a bit crazy at moment. So hoorah to you for highlighting it. I love all the colors...

  10. WE- as Souls borne in pursuit of BEAUTY can HOPE that with each stitch by hand of their Sacred Wedding apparel, the gift of PEACE will manifest by their LOVE...

  11. You always manage to find something more magical than most. So enjoyable to learn about this beautiful couple.



  12. Yes, yes, thank you for the "Magic". And that what this is!

  13. How pretty, absolutely perfectly divine...

  14. They make a truly stunning couple! What a wonderful mix of patterns and embroidery.

  15. Beautiful blog, striking couple.

  16. Absolutely breathtaking, everything about it. Their story is better than fiction. The colors, the patterns, the faces...and her shoes!!

  17. This post and all the comments are extremely uplifting. The whole thing unspools like a multimedia "nonfiction novel," one I hope and trust will have a happy ending. What's interesting is that the couple are so beautiful and so remote from my experience that, unlike most novels, there's no danger of identifying with them and "reading things in." You just try to understand it the best you can on its own terms. Lovely and unlikely to turn up in the pages of Hello!. Curtis



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