Jigme Palden Dorji

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Jigme Palden Dorji
1st Prime Minister of Bhutan
In office
1952 – 6 April 1964
Monarch Jigme Dorji
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Jigme Thinley
Personal details
Born (1919-12-14)14 December 1919
Bhutan House, Kalimpong, India
Died 6 April 1964(1964-04-06) (aged 44)
Phuntsoling Guesthouse, Bhutan
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Ashi Tsering Yangzom
Children 4 (inc. Paljor Dorji)
Parents Sonam Topgay Dorji
Chuni Wangmo

Dasho Jigme Palden Dorji[1] (14 December 1919[2] – 6 April 1964)[3] was a Bhutanese politician and member of the Dorji family. By marriage, he was also a member of the House of Wangchuck.[4]

The brother-in-law of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Dorji was close to his kinsman and accompanied the future king when he lived in the United Kingdom in 1950.[5]

Appointed Chief Minister (Gongzim) in 1952,[6] he became the first man to hold the title Prime Minister of Bhutan (Lyonchen).[7] This followed the upgrading of the old position in 1958 as part of a wider series of reforms by Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.[8] As brother-in-law of the Dragon King of Bhutan Dorji helped to drive the king's modernisation policies. However his reforms antagonised both the military and the religious institutions leading to a corporal in the army assassinating him in April 1964. Namgyal Bahadur, head of the Royal Bhutan Army, was amongst those executed for the murder plot.[8]


  • King Mahendra Investiture Medal 1956.gif King Mahendra Investiture Medal (Kingdom of Nepal, 2 May 1956).[9]



  1. ^ Royal Ark
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Lindsay Brown, Bradley Mayhew, Stan Armington, Richard Whitecross, Bhutan, 2007, p. 40
  4. ^ BHUTAN (Kingdom) Archived 2009-05-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Grooming of the Father of Modern Bhutan
  6. ^ Royal Ark
  7. ^ Bhutan
  8. ^ a b Modernization under Jigme Dorji, 1952-72
  9. ^ Royal Ark
Political offices
Preceded by
office created
Prime Minister of Bhutan
Succeeded by
Lhendup Dorji