Jetsun Pema

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Jetsun Pema
Dragon Queen of Bhutan (cropped).jpg
Queen consort of Bhutan
Tenure13 October 2011 – present
Born (1990-06-04) 4 June 1990 (age 28)
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, Thimphu, Bhutan
IssueJigme Namgyel Wangchuck
Full name
Jetsun Pema Wangchuck[fn 1]
HouseWangchuck (by marriage)
FatherDhondup Gyaltshen
MotherSonam Chuki

Jetsun Pema (Dzongkha: རྗེ་བཙུན་པདྨ་; Wylie: rje btsun padma; born 4 June 1990) is the queen consort (Druk Gyaltsuen, literally meaning "Dragon Queen") of Bhutan, as the wife of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Early life[edit]

Jetsun Pema was born at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu on 4 June 1990.[1] Her father, Dhondup Gyaltshen is the grandson of two Trashigang Dzongpon, Thinley Topgay and Ugyen Tshering (Governors of Trashigang). Her mother, Aum Sonam Chuki, comes from the family of Bumthang Pangtey (one of the oldest noble families of Bhutan).[2][3] Sonam Chuki's father was a half-brother of two queens consort of Bhutan, Phuntsho Choden (great-grandmother of the present king) and her sister Pema Dechen.

Her ancestor is also the 48th Druk Desi and 10th Penlop of Trongsa Jigme Namgyal (father of King Ugyen Wangchuck and of her great-great-grandmother, Ashi Yeshay Choden). The King and the Queen of Bhutan are distant cousins.

Jetsun Pema is the second eldest of five children. Her four siblings include: two brothers, Thinlay Norbu and Jigme Namgyel and two sisters, Serchen Doma and Yeatso Lhamo (the eldest, who is the wife of the king's brother, Prince Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck).[4][5][6][7]

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.[8] 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.[9] She then began her tertiary education by enrolling at Regent's College in London,[5][10] where she graduated international relations with psychology and art history as minor subjects.[4]

Royal Wedding[edit]

On 20 May 2011, during the opening of the Parliament's seventh session, the king announced their engagement, saying

"As King, it is now time for me to marry. After much thought I have decided that the wedding shall be later this year."[11]

Describing Jetsun Pema, he said

"Now, many will have their own idea of what a Queen should be like – that she should be uniquely beautiful, intelligent and graceful. I think with experience and time, one can grow into a dynamic person in any walk of life with the right effort. For the Queen, what is most important is that at all times, as an individual she must be a good human being, and as Queen, she must be unwavering in her commitment to serve the People and Country. As my queen, I have found such a person and her name is Jetsun Pema. 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." [11]

The couple married on 13 October 2011, at Punakha Dzong. The royal wedding ceremony was held first in Punakha, followed by a public celebration in Thimphu[12] and Paro.[13] During the ceremony, the King bestowed the Crown of the Druk Gyaltsuen on her, formally proclaiming her as the Queen of the Kingdom of Bhutan.[14]

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.[5] For their wedding, the Netherlands sent the royal couple tulips and named one "Queen of Bhutan" after her.[15]

Royal duties[edit]

Following her marriage to the King, Jetsun Pema has joined him on several visits abroad to: India,[16] Singapore,[17] Japan[18] and the United Kingdom.[19]

Jetsun Pema accompanied Jigme Khesar on several of his Royal Visits to various parts of Bhutan before the Wedding, and as Queen of Bhutan, accompanies him on all of such visits. The Royal Visits on road through the country involves meeting and interacting with as many local people, students and public servants as possible.[20]

Jetsun Pema is an advocate of environmental issues, and the Patron of the Royal Society for Protection of Nature. She is also the UNEP Ozone Ambassador. Her Majesty works closely with various organisations working with children with special needs as the patron of Ability Bhutan Society. She is the Patron of the Bhutan Kidney Association (Jigten Wangchuck Tshogpa) and the Bhutan Kidney Foundation.[21]

Since 2016, she is the President of the Bhutan Red Cross Society (BRCS).

Personal life[edit]

The Queen's interests include fine arts, painting and basketball.[22] She captained her school team in basketball games and still maintains her interest in the sport.[4] Her 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.[7]

On 11 November 2015, it was announced that she was expecting their first child, a son, to be born in early 2016.[23][24] She gave birth on 5 February 2016 at the Lingkana Palace. The king was present for the birth of The Gyalsey.[25] His name was announced on 16 April 2016.[26]

Children and their date of birth[edit]

Name Born Place birth Age
His Royal Highness The Gyalsey,
Crown Prince of Bhutan Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck
(2016-02-05)5 February 2016 Lingkana Palace, Bhutan (3 years and 16 days)

Titles, styles, and honours[edit]

Styles of
Queen Jetsun Pema
Emblem of Bhutan.svg
Reference styleHer Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty
Alternative styleDruk Gyaltsuen

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 4 June 1990 – 12 October 2011: Ashi Jetsun Pema
  • 13 October 2011 – present: Her Majesty The Queen of Bhutan


  •  Bhutan :
    • King Jigme Singye Wangchuck commemorating the King's 60th birthday.gif 60th Birthday Badge Medal of King Jigme Singye (11/11/2015).



  1. ^ "bhutan4". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. ^ India Today
  3. ^ Bhutan Times, Lhakpa Tshering, 4 June 2017, 'Nation celebrates Gyaltsuen's birthday'
  4. ^ a b c "Know the royal bride". Businessbhutan. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Royal Wedding in October". Bhutan Observer. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Bhutan's King Is Set to Marry – Royal Wedding". Empowered News. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Himachal-educated girl to marry Bhutan king". MSN News. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  8. ^ Anand Bodh, Bhutan king to wed Sanawar girl dated 22 May 2011, from Times of India at, accessed 14 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Lawrence School, Sanawar in celebration mode". The Times of India. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Bhutan king to wed Sanawar girl". Times of India. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Facebook". King's official Facebook page. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  12. ^ "BBT". BBS page. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  13. ^ "BBT". BBS page. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Proclamation of Queen Jetsun Pema". BBS. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Bhutan News" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Bhutan's royal couple in India on nine-day visit". Zee News. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Bhutan's royal couple in S'pore for private visit". Asia One. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  18. ^ "New style icon of the Orient Queen Jetsun Pema makes Bhutan proud on Japan visit". Hello Magazine. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  19. ^ "Queen Jetsun debuts chic sense of style on UK trip". Hello Magazine. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Kuenselonline". Kuensel. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Meet the world's youngest queen, 27-year-old Jetsun Pema of Bhutan". Business Insider Australia.
  22. ^ "Spike in Bhutan's happiness index". The Hindu. India. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  23. ^ "Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan pregnant with her first child". 11 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Queen Jetsun Pema and King Jigme Khesar Wangchuck of Bhutan expecting first child". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Our happiness knows no bounds, as we announce the Royal Birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey on 5th February 2016". Facebook. 2016-02-05. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  26. ^ "HRH The Gyalsey to be named on Zhabdrung Kuchoe". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  1. ^ Women in Bhutan traditionally retain their names upon marriage. As a queen consort of Bhutan she may use the surname Wangchuck by marriage.

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