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Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck : The Dragon King

His Majesty The King Addressed the Nation from the Changlimithang Stadium during the 112th National Day Celebrations.
His Majesty The King Addressed the Nation from the Changlimithang Stadium during the 112th National Day Celebrations.

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the current Druk Gyalpo or Dragon King of the Kingdom of Bhutan. He ascended the throne on 9 December 2006 after his father, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, abdicated the throne in his favor. Wangchuck was officially crowned on 6 November 2008 in a public coronation ceremony that was attended by dignitaries, including the then-President of India, Pratibha Patil. His coronation marked the 100 years of monarchy in Bhutan.

Wangchuck was born on 21 February 1980 in Paropakar Maternity and Women's Hospital in Kathmandu. He is the eldest son of the fourth Dragon King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and his third wife, Queen (Ashi) Tshering Yangdon. He has a younger sister, Princess (Ashi) Dechen Yangzom, and a brother, Prince (Gyaltshab) Jigme Dorji, as well as four half-sisters and three half-brothers.

Wangchuck completed his higher secondary studies at Yangchenphug High School and then went to the United States, where he attended Phillips Academy in Andover and Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, where he finished high school. He then studied at Wheaton College in Massachusetts before completing the Diplomatic Studies Programme at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Before ascending to the throne, Wangchuck was known to the people of Bhutan as "Dasho Khesar," the Crown Prince. He accompanied his father on many tours throughout the kingdom and officially represented Bhutan on several international events. On 8 May 2002, he represented Bhutan at the 27th UN General Assembly and made his first speech to the United Nations, addressing issues related to the welfare of millions of children around the world.

On 31 October 2004, Wangchuck was installed as the 16th Trongsa Penlop in Trongsa Dzong. The institution of the Trongsa Penlop signifies the true heritage to the Bhutanese Throne, and the investiture ceremony of the Trongsa Penlop is the formal declaration of this status of the Crown Prince.

To welcome Wangchuck as the king of Bhutan, people painted street signs and hung festive banners. Wangchuck married Jetsun Pema in 2011, and they have two sons, Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck and Prince Jigme Ugyen Wangchuck. Wangchuck is known for his efforts to promote the Gross National Happiness (GNH) development philosophy and has implemented policies that prioritize the well-being of his people and the environment.

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