Picture it! The date: October 13th, 2011. The place: Punakha, Bhutan. The players? Bhutan’s very handsome and popular young King Jigme (whose prep school education was done here at boarding schools in the states, first at Andover and then at Cushing, and who graduated from Oxford, and who seems — based on my extensive reading of his Wikipedia page — like a pretty good dude) and Jetsun Pema, who is ten years his junior, also educated in the UK, and also VERY PRETTY. The Washington Post had pretty good coverage of their wedding when it happened, and according to them:
The bride is the daughter of an airline pilot whose family has long known the royals. Family friends said it was a love marriage between a couple who had already been living together for eight months.Nevertheless, the fact that the bride’s family comes from the country’s elite and is of seemingly impeccable character helped smooth the way, as did the royal astrologers’ views on their compatibility.
They also both like basketball, which is a plus. (That article ALSO makes it seem like the king is a good dude, which is always a nice surprise. Sometimes I’ll be researching posts like these and everything will be tootling along nicely until Wiki will note as an aside that the person I’m reading about had a minor scandal when it was discovered that he wrote adoring fanfic about Joseph Stalin or some such.)
Unlike other weddings we’ve covered here so far, this one was also a coronation. Per Wiki:
The royal nuptial ceremony (Dzongkha: Gyal Tsuen Tashi Ngasoel) combined coronation and nuptials. Ahead of the ceremony, the betrothed received the blessings of the machhen (holy relic) of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The traditional Buddhist ceremony began around 8:20 am, the time set by royal astrologers – when the king, wearing the royal yellow sash, walked into the courtyard of the 17th-century monastery in the old capital of Punakha and proceeded up the high staircase inside. A few minutes later, his 21-year-old bride arrived at the end of a procession of red-robed monks and flag bearers across a wooden footbridge over the wide, blue river beside the fort.
The ceremony was held in two locations, one was presided over by the Je Khenpo for the Shabdrung Dag Nangma prayer, the other was attended by Dorji Lopon and 100 monks reciting Tshepa Mey prayers. The King then received the Dar Na Nga, five silk scarves in the five auspicious colors, as well as the Raven Crown of the Wangchuck Dynasty. He then received another Dar Na Nga for his bride and bestowed it on her, along with the Phoenix Crown of the Druk Gyaltsuen.This was followed by a formal proclamation of Ashi Jetsun Pema Wangchuck as the Queen of Bhutan.
Big day! Let’s look at the photos.