Bhutan celebrates birth of prince

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema married in 2011 in an elaborate fairytale wedding ceremony that was the biggest media event in the Himalayan kingdom's history.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema married in 2011 in an elaborate fairytale wedding ceremony that was the biggest media event in the Himalayan kingdom's history.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW DELHI • Bhutan's royal couple yesterday announced the birth of their first child, delighting the remote Himalayan kingdom where the monarchy is revered.

The newest royal, the son of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema, was safely delivered at Lingkana Palace in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu on Friday, the royal media office said.

"Their majesties and members of the royal family are filled with profound joy on the birth of His Royal Highness," it said in a statement. "With the blessings of the guardian deities of Bhutan and protectors of the dharma (divine truth), and the prayers of the Bhutanese people, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness, The Gyalsey (prince), are both in perfect health."

The prince's birth was marked by sacred Bhutanese traditions with the Je Khenpo, the chief abbot and spiritual leader of the majority Buddhist nation, presiding over religious ceremonies, the office said.

The baby's name has yet to be announced.

The hugely popular fifth Druk Gyalpo or Dragon King, studied in Britain and the United States and was officially crowned king in 2008 after his father abdicated two years earlier. He married Queen Pema in 2011 in an elaborate fairytale wedding ceremony that was the biggest media event in Bhutanese history.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 07, 2016, with the headline 'Bhutan celebrates birth of prince'. Print Edition | Subscribe