It’s for love! a monarch who married a commoner
Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck became King of Bhutan at 28! And he also proved by his example that there are no barriers to true love. He not only found the courage to marry a commoner, but also waited for her hand for 15 years.
Born from the bond of brother and sister
Bhutan is a tiny state in the Himalayas between India and China. Since 1907, the country has been ruled by the Wangchuck dynasty, and the rulers still call themselves “dragon kings” to this day.
Namgyal’s father, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, ascended the throne at age 17 in 1972. But he became famous all over the world not because of his young age, but because of a rather strange marriage.
The monarch married his own sisters. And all four at once. According to the laws of Bhutan at that time, this marriage was recognized as legal both from a religious and legal point of view. Moreover, such marriages were quite widespread in the kingdom half a century ago.
As a result, the king became the father of Namgyal, but the mother was the youngest of the sisters.
As for the rest, the upbringing and education of the prince was quite modern. Namgyal studied at several colleges in the US and UK and completed his PhD in political science at Oxford. When the guy was 28 years old, he became the sole ruler of the state. His father abdicated in his favor.
I saw my future wife at the age of 15
Of course, the people demanded marriage from the new ruler … But Namgyal immediately announced that he intended to break the vicious circle and, contrary to tradition, connect his life with his beloved woman.
Moreover, Namgyal met his love while still a boy. At one of the royal celebrations, Jigme saw a certain Jetsun Pema. The girl was only 8 years old!
The prince, famous for his sense of humor, immediately declared: “When she grows up, she will become my wife.”
True, then the heir to the throne tempered his ardor, adding that the wedding would take place only if neither he nor Jetsun fell in love with someone else before the girl came of age.
Of course, then no one attached any importance to the bold statement, and they remembered it only at the wedding 15 years later!
It took a lot of courage for Jigma to marry a commoner. Peme was not from an aristocratic family, her father served as a pilot. Over the years of his work,
for obvious reasons, he did not make a fortune, but he managed to save up his daughter for a good education: Pema studied in India, which is very prestigious by local standards.
On the wedding day, which according to tradition was chosen not by the bride and groom, but by astrologers, the king personally put a crown on Jetsun’s head.
Demonstrating thereby that from now on she is his wife and queen of the state. It is curious that this wedding changed the life of not only the king, but the whole country …
The monarch, who studied in the States and Great Britain, was not going to put up with the remnants of the past. Namgyal became the first Bhutanese monarch to kiss his bride on the lips in public and declare that he does not intend to marry a second or third time.
Although Namgyal also has a sister. And a beauty too!
At the same time, the monarchs were ready to become closer not only to each other. But also to people. The people of Bhutan were able to personally congratulate the king on his wedding. Moreover, instead of a honeymoon, the newlyweds went on a tour of the country.
When the wedding hype passed, Jetsun did not lock herself in the mansions of the palace, but continued to lead a stormy social activity. She still visits schools, communicates with orphans and oversees charitable projects.
True, this year Pema still had to retire for a while. She gave her husband an heir. By the way, the monarch personally followed the birth of his son.