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Jetsun Pema
Queen Consort of Bhutan

Queen Jetsun Pema
Proclamation 13 October 2011
Spouse Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Full name
Jetsun Pema Wangchuk
House House of Wangchuck
Father Dhondup Gyaltshen
Mother Sonam Chuki
Born June 4, 1990 (1990-06-04) (age 27)
Thimphu Hospital,
Thimphu, Bhutan
Religion Buddhism
vde
Queen Jetsun Pema (Dzongkha: རྗེ་བཙུན་པདྨ་; Wylie: rje btsun padma; born 4 June 1990) is the Queen consort (Druk Gyaltsuen, "Dragon Queen") of Bhutan, as the wife of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Upon her marriage on 13 October 2011 at the age of 21, Jetsun Pema became the youngest Queen in the world.

Early life

Queen Jetsun Pema was born in Thimphu on 4 June 1990. Her father is Dhondup Gyaltshen from Trashigang, the grandson of the Trashigang Dzongpon (Governor of Trashigang) Thinley Tobgye (aka Dopola 1893–1952). Dhondup graduated from Sherubtse College, Kanglung and has been a commercial pilot since 1989 with Druk Air. Her mother, Sonam Chuki, is from Bumthang Pangtey and is the goddaughter of His Royal Highness Prince Namgyel Wangchuck (half-brother of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck). Her father is the half-brother of the sister-queens of the Second King Jigme Wangchuck, Ashi Phuntsho Choden and Ashi Pema Dechan.

Queen Jetsun is the second eldest of five children. Her four siblings include: two brothers, Thinlay Norbu and Jigme Namgyal and two sisters, Serchen Doma and Yeatso Lhamo (who is the eldest).

Queen Jetsun Pema's early education took place in Thimphu at the Little Dragon School, the Sunshine School (1995–96) and finally the Changangkha Lower Secondary School (1997–98). She then received a convent education at St. Joseph's Convent in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India, from 1999–2000. She pursued her secondary education at the Lungtenzampa Middle Secondary School in Thimphu from 2001 to 2005 and moved to the Lawrence School, Sanawar, in Solan Himachal Pradesh, India, in April 2006. She joined Lawrence as a Class-XI student and chose to study English, history, geography, economics and painting. She completed her Higher Secondary education on 31 March 2008. She then began her tertiary education by enrolling at Regent's College in London, where she read International Relations with Psychology and Art History as minor subjects.

Marriage

Jigme Khesar and Jetsun Pema wedding

The King and Queen on their wedding day.

On 20 May 2011, during the opening of the Parliament's seventh session, King Jigme Khesar announced that he would marry Jetsun Pema in October 2011. During the announcement, he said:

"While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character. These qualities together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience will make her a great servant to the nation."

Khesar has also commented:

"Jetsun Pema is a kind-hearted girl who is very supportive and whom I can trust. I cannot say how she might appear to the people, but to me, she is the one."

King Jigme Khesar and Jetsun Pema married on 13 October 2011, at Punakha Dzong. The royal wedding ceremony was held first in Punakha, followed by formal visits to different parts of the country. During the ceremony, the King also received the Crown of the Druk Gyal-tsuen from the sacred Machhen and bestowed it on Jetsun Pema, thereby formally proclaiming her as the Queen of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

The wedding was held in traditional style with the "blessings of the guardian deities." Although Bhutan allows polygamy, the king said that he would never marry another woman, and that Jetsun Pema will be his only wife in the future.

Royal duties

Bhutanese Royals in England

The King and Queen abroad in England.

Following her wedding to the King, Her Majesty Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck has joined him on several trips abroad to: India, Singapore, Japan and the United Kingdom. Her Majesty accompanies His Majesty on all royal tours around the country.

Her Majesty is the Patron of Ability Bhutan Society, Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Jigten Wangchuk Tshogpa and is the UNEP Ozone Ambassador.

Private life

The Queen's interests include fine arts, painting and basketball. She captained her school team in basketball games and maintains that interest even now. Her Majesty's other diversions during her school days included participation in school bands and dance programmes. Besides Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan, she is fluent in English and Hindi.

Titles and styles

  • 4 June 1990 – 13 October 2011: Jetsun Pema
  • 13 October 2011 – present:
    • International style: Her Majesty The Queen of Bhutan or Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck
    • Bhutanese style: Druk Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck

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