List of rulers of Bhutan

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  • King of Bhutan
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King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (edit).jpg

Style His Majesty
Heir presumptive Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck
First monarch Sir Ugyen Wangchuk
Formation 21 December 1907
Emblem of Bhutan.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bhutan

Bhutan was founded and unified as a country by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in the mid–17th century. After his death in 1651, Bhutan nominally followed his recommended "dual system of government". Under the dual system, government control was split between a civil administrative leader, the Druk Desi (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་སྡེ་སྲིད་; Wylie: 'brug sde-srid; also called "Deb Raja");[nb 1] and a religious leader, the Je Khenpo (Dzongkha: རྗེ་མཁན་པོ་; Wylie: rje mkhan-po). Both the Druk Desi and Je Khenpo were under the nominal authority of the Shabdrung (Dzongkha: ཞབས་དྲུང།; Wylie: zhabs-drung), a reincarnation of Ngawang Namgyal. In practice however, the Shabdrung was often a child under the control of the Druk Desi, and regional penlops (governors) often administered their districts in defiance of the power of the Druk Desis until the rise of the unified Wangchuck monarchy in 1907.[1]

Druk Desis (1650–1905)[edit]

Main article: Druk Desi

Below appears the list of Druk Desis throughout the existence of the office. Officeholders were initially appointed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, though after his death the Je Khenpo and civil government decided appointments.

Italics indicate coregencies and caretaker governments, which are not traditionally separately numbered.

Druk Desis of Bhutan[2]
# Name Date of Birth Reign start Reign end Date of Death
1 Tenzin Drukgye 1591 1650 1655 1655
2 Langonpa Tenzin Drukdra 1655 1667 1667
3 Chhogyel Minjur Tenpa 1667 1680 1691
4 Gyalsay Tenzin Rabgye 1638 1680 1694 1696
5 Gedun Chomphel 1695 1701 1701
6 Ngawang Tshering 1701 1704
7 Umze Peljor 1704 1707
8 Druk Rabgye 1707 1719 1729
9 Ngawang Gyamtsho 1719 1729 1729
10 Mipham Wangpo 1729 1736
11 Khuwo Peljor 1736 1739
12 Ngawang Gyaltshen 1739 1744
13 Sherab Wangchuck 1744 1763
14 Druk Phuntsho 1763 1765
15 Wangzob Druk Tenzin I 1765 1768
16 Sonam Lhundub[3][table 1] 1768 1773 1773
17 Kunga Rinchen 1773 1776
18 Jigme Singye 1742 1776 1788 1789
19 Druk Tenzin 1788 1792
20 Umzey Chapchhab 1792 1792 1792
21 Chhogyel Sonam Gyaltshen (Tashi Namgyel) 1792 1799
22 Druk Namgyel 1799 1803
23 Chhogyel Sonam Gyaltshen (Tashi Namgyel)
(2nd reign)
1803 1805
24 Sangye Tenzin 1805 1806
25 Umzey Parob 1806 1808
26 Byop Chhyoda 1807 1808
27 Tulku Tsulthrim Daba 1790 1809 1810 1820
28 Zhabdrung Thutul (Jigme Dragpa) 1810 1811
29 Chholay Yeshey Gyaltshen 1781 1811 1815 1830
30 Tshaphu Dorji Namgyel 1815 1815
31 Sonam Drugyel 1815 1819
32 Gongzim Tenzin Drukda 1819 1823
33 Chhoki Gyaltshen 1823 1831
34 Dorji Namgyel 1831 1832
35 Adab Thinley 1832 1835
36 Chhoki Gyaltshen
(2nd reign)
1835 1838
37 Dorji Norbu 1838 1850
38 Wangchuk Gyalpo 1850 1850
39 Zhabdrung Thutul (Jigme Norbu)
(in Thimphu)
1850 1852
Chagpa Sangye
(in Punakha)
1851 1852
40 Damchho Lhundrup 1852 1854
41 Jamtul Jamyang Tenzin 1854 1856
42 Kunga Palden
(in Punakha)
1856 1860
Sherab Tharchin
(in Thimphu)
1856 1860
43 Phuntsho Namgyel (Nazi Pasang) 1860 1863
44 Tshewang Sithub 1863 1864
Tsulthrim Yonten 1864 1864
45 Kagyud Wangchuk 1864 1864
46 Tshewang Sithub
(2nd reign)
1865 1867
47 Tsondul Pekar 1867 1870
48 Jigme Namgyel 1825 1870 1873 1881
49 Kitshab Dorji Namgyel 1873 1879
Jigme Namgyel
(2nd reign)
1877 1878
Kitsep Dorji Namgyel
(2nd reign)
1878 1879
50 Chhogyel Zangpo March 1879 June 1880 1880
Jigme Namgyel
(3rd reign)
June 1880 July 1881
51 Lam Tshewang 1836 July 1881 May 1883 1883
52 Gawa Zangpo May 1883 August 1885
53 Sangye Dorji 1885 1901 1901
54 Choley Yeshe Ngodub 1851 1903 1905 1917
Notes:
  1. ^ Druk Desi Sonam Lhundub was the first Bhutanese ruler to confront British power, losing in a power bid in Cooch Behar, a traditional Bhutanese dependency.

Kings of Bhutan (1907–present)[edit]

Main articles: Druk Gyalpo and House of Wangchuck

The Bhutanese monarchy was established in 1907, unifying the country under the control of the Wangchuk family, hereditary penlops (governors) of Trongsa district. The king of Bhutan, formally known as the Druk Gyalpo ("Dragon King"), also occupies the office of Druk Desi under the dual system of government. Since the enactment of the Constitution of 2008, the Druk Gyalpo has remained head of state, while the Prime Minister of Bhutan acts as executive and head of government in a parliamentary democracy.[4]

Name
Lifespan
Reign start
Reign end
Notes
Family
Image
Ugyen
1862 – 21 August 1926
(aged 64)
17 December 1907 21 August 1926 Wangchuck Ugyen Wangchuck of Bhutan
Jigme
1905 – 24 March 1952
(aged 47)
21 August 1926 24 March 1952 Son of Ugyen Wangchuck Jigme Wangchuck of Bhutan
Jigme Dorji
(1929-05-02)2 May 1929 – 21 July 1972(1972-07-21) (aged 43) 24 March 1952 21 July 1972 Son of Jigme Wangchuck Jigme Dorji Wangchuck of Bhutan
Jigme Singye
(1955-11-11) 11 November 1955 (age 58) 21 July 1972 14 December 2006
(abdicated)
Son of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
Jigme Khesar Namgyel
(1980-02-21) 21 February 1980 (age 34) 14 December 2006 Incumbent Son of Jigme Singye Wangchuck Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The original title is Dzongkha: སྡེ་སྲིད་ཕྱག་མཛོད་; Wylie: sde-srid phyag-mdzod.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Worden, Robert L.; Savada, Andrea Matles (ed.) (1991). "Chapter 6 – Bhutan: Administrative Integration and Conflict with Tibet, 1651–1728". Nepal and Bhutan: Country Studies (3rd ed.). Federal Research Division, United States Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0777-1. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Dorji, C. T. (1995). A Political & Religious History of Bhutan, 1651–1906. Delhi, India: Sangay Xam; Prominent Publishers. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Worden, Robert L.. "Civil Conflict, 1728–72". Bhutan: A country study (Savada, Andrea Matles, ed.). Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress of the USA (September 1991).  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "Articles 1, 2, 20" (PDF). The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Government of Bhutan. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Petech, Luciano (1972). The Rulers of Bhutan c. 1650–1750. Oriens Extremus 19. Hamburg: Zeitschrift für Sprache, Kunst und Kultur der Länder des Fernen Ostens. pp. 203–213. 

External links[edit]