Palden Thondup Namgyal
|Palden Thondup Namgyal|
|The 12th Chogyal|
|Chogyal of Sikkim|
|Reign||2 December 1963 – 10 April 1975|
|Coronation||4 April 1965|
23 May 1923|
|Died||29 January 1982
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York City, United States
|Spouse||Samyo Kushoe Sangideki (1950–1957)
Hope Cooke (1963–1980)
|Issue||Prince Tenzing Kunzang Jigme Namgyal
Prince Tobgyal Wangchuk Tenzing Namgyal
Princess Yangchen Dolma Namgyal
Prince Palden Gyurmed Namgyal
Princess Hope Leezum Namgyal Tobden
Namgyal was born on 23 May 1923 at the Royal Palace, Park Ridge, Gangtok.
At six, he became a student at St. Joseph's Convent in Kalimpong, but had to terminate his studies due to attacks of malaria. From age eight to eleven he studied under his uncle, Rimpoche Lhatsun, in order to be ordained a Buddhist monk; he was subsequently recognised as the reincarnated leader of both Phodong and Rumtek monasteries. He later continued his studies at Saint Joseph's College in Darjeeling and finally graduated from Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, in 1941. His plans to study science at Cambridge were dashed when his elder brother, the crown prince, a member of the Royal Air Force was killed in a plane crash in 1941.
Namgyal served as adviser for internal affairs for his father, Sir Tashi Namgyal, the 11th Chogyal, and led the negotiating team which established Sikkim's relationship to India after independence in 1949. He married Samyo Kushoe Sangideki in 1950, a daughter of an important Tibetan family of Lhasa, and together they had two sons and a daughter. Samyo Kushoe Sangideki died in 1957.
In 1963, Namgyal married Hope Cooke, a twenty-two-year-old socialite from New York City, USA; she was a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers in the state of New York. The marriage brought worldwide media attention to Sikkim. The couple, who had two children, divorced in 1980.
Shortly after their marriage, his father died and Namgyal was crowned the new Chogyal on an astrologically favourable date in 1965. In 1975, as the result of a referendum, Sikkim became a state of India and the monarchy abolished. He opposed the referendum and the annexation to India.
Namgyal was an amateur radio operator, call-sign AC3PT, and was a highly sought after contact on the airwaves. The international callbook listed his address as: P.T. Namgyal, The Palace, Gangtok, Sikkim.
Upon his death, 31 members of the State Legislative Assembly offered khadas to the Chogyal as a mark of respect.
He founded the Order of the Precious Jewel of the Heart of Sikkim in September 1972.
Namgyal shaped a "model Asian state" where the literacy rate and per capita income were twice as high as neighbors Nepal, Bhutan and India. He preserved autonomy for a tiny country threatened on two sides, by an India "intent on annexation" and an equally aggressive Communist-dominated Tibet.
His second son from his first marriage, Tobgyal Wangchuk Tenzing Namgyal, was named the 13th Chogyal, but the position no longer confers any official authority.
- 1923–1941: Prince Palden Thondup Namgyal.
- 1941–1947: Maharajkumar Sri Panch Palden Thondup Namgyal.
- 1947–1954: Maharajkumar Sri Panch Palden Thondup Namgyal, OBE.
- 1954–1963: Maharajkumar Padma Bhushan Sri Panch Palden Thondup Namgyal, OBE.
- 1963–1965: His Highness Muwong Chogyal Padma Bhushan Sri Panch Chempo Palden Thondup Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, OBE.
- 1965–1982: Major-General His Highness Muwong Chogyal Padma Bhushan Sri Panch Chempo Palden Thondup Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, OBE.
(ribbon bar, as it would look today)
- Order of the Precious Jewel of the Heart of Sikkim (Founder), September 1972
- Order of the British Empire (OBE), 1 January 1947
- Padma Bhushan, 22 February 1954
- Indian Independence Medal, 1947
- Order of the Black Star (Commandeur), 1956
- King Mahendra Investiture Medal, 2 May 1956
- King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal, 2 June 1974
- King Birendra Investiture Medal, 24 February 1975
- Royal Ark
- Sikkim Voters OK Merger With India Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 16 April 1975
- Sikkim Votes On Indian Merger Daytona Beach Morning Journal, 15 April 1975
- "Palden Thondup Namgyal, Deposed Sikkim King, Dies". New York Times. 30 January 1982. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
The deposed King of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, who had been undergoing treatment for cancer in New York, died last night from complications following an operation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was 58 years old. A family spokesman said his body was to be flown home to Sikkim for the funeral. ...
- Royal Ark
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Final Programmes for The Coronation and The Silver Jubilee Celebration
Palden Thondup NamgyalBorn: 23 May 1923 Died: 29 January 1982
|Chogyal of Sikkim
2 December, 1963–1975
Sikkim joined India by referendum
|Titles in pretence|
|New title||— TITULAR —
Chogyal of Sikkim
10 April 1975 – 29 January 1982