Speaking Of Asia

How to behave as a monarch? Ask Bhutan's Thunder Dragon kings

Institutional power is not enough. The modern day monarch needs to find new ways of connecting with his subjects.

In the months past, as Covid-19 raged, Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar (above) and his father have toured the nation checking on patients, frequently drawing tears of gratitude from the sick.PHOTO: KING JIGME KHESAR NAMGYEL WANGCHUCK/FACEBOOK

The street protests in Thailand and the unprecedented public criticism of King Maha Vajiralongkorn focus attention on an institution whose days, along with old-style feudalism, are fading, if not gone altogether.

Democratisation of education and information is now so much a part of daily existence, as natural as breathing, that we take these privileges for granted.

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