Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his bride and new queen, Jetsun Pema, have recently been on a nine-day state visit to India. The popular couple has undertaken this official visit just weeks after the 31 year old King married in an elaborate and colorful Buddhist ceremony, 21 year old Jetsun Pema. Both Western-educated, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema have garnered new interest in Bhutan from the the international community. The Queen’s comely beauty in particular, has earned her plenty of attention and many are hoping that there will be more frequent occasions to see the couple promote Bhutan on the international stage. The visit to India has been both of an official and private nature. It included a honeymoon railway journey through the cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
During their visit to India, the King and Queen met with a number of Indian dignitaries including the President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as well as Congress Party President, Sonia Gandhi. Both King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema appeared in wester-style dress as well as the traditional Bhutanese attire during their stay in India. During their visit, the King said, “Jetsun and I are humbled by the manner in which we were received.” He also added, “Deciding to visit India after our marriage came naturally. After all, India has always been a home away from home.”