Bhutanese king weds

The 31-year-old king of Bhutan has tied a meritial knot with a commoner, who is 10 years junior to him, in a colorful ceremony in Punakha dzong. Thursday’s wedding took place amid clouds of incense and chanting by monks in accordance with the Buddhist culture.

The world’s youngest King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck – an Oxford graduate who came to power in 2008 at the start of democracy in Bhutan – crowned his queen, Jetsun Pema, at the end of a series of rituals in the 17th-century fortified monastery chosen for the occasion.

It is reportedly learnt that Pema is a daughter of an airline pilot widely admired for her beauty and her impact on the love-struck monarch.

The celebrations began as early as 8:20am – a time set by royal astrologers – when the king walked into the courtyard of the monastery in the old capital of Punakha. Wearing the royal yellow sash, he proceeded up the high staircase inside.

The couples.

After a brief purification ceremony, the couple walked hand-in-hand, smiling to the inner sanctum of the monastery where an hour of blessings, prostrations and prayers culminated with the queen taking the throne.

The wedding captivated the nation, which was growing impatient with its king’s lack of urgency to tie the knot. Children composed poems, flight attendants practiced celebratory dances and posters of the couple were almost everywhere across the country.

The couples are scheduled to return Thimphu on Friday to celebrate the wedding in Thimphu on Saturday, October 15.

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