Ugyen Wangchuck

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Ugyen Wangchuck
Ugyen Wangchuck Name.svg
1st King of Bhutan
Ugyen Wangchuk, 1905.jpg
Reign 17 December 1907 – 26 August 1926
Coronation 17 December 1907 [1]
Predecessor None (Hereditary Monarchy Created)
Successor Jigme Wangchuck
Spouse Ashi Tsundue Lhamo Kurto Khoma Chukmo
Issue Jigme Wangchuck
Lemo Wangchuck
Lhadron Wangchuck
House House of Wangchuck
Father Jigme Namgyal
Mother Ashi Pema Choki
Born 1862
Bumthang, Wangduecholing Palace
Died 26 August 1926 (aged 64)

Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck (Dzongkha: Ugyen Wangchuck Name.svg, Wylie: o rgyan dbang phyug; 1862–1926) was the first King of Bhutan from 1907 to 1926. In his lifetime he made great efforts to unite the country and gain the trust of the people.

He was born in 1862 to Jigme Namgyal, penlop (governor) of Trongsa and Ashi Pema Choki. He succeeded his father as Penlop of Trongsa. From his power base in central Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck defeated his political enemies and united the country following several civil wars and rebellions in 1882–1885.

Ugyen Wangchuk with his family in 1905

In 1907, an epochal year for the country, Ugyen Wangchuck was unanimously chosen as the hereditary monarch of the country by the people at Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan.

For his services in mediating between the British and Tibetans during the Younghusband Expedition to Lhasa, Tibet,[2] he was knighted by the British in 1904. He was appointed Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE) in the 1921 New Year Honours,[3] having already been appointed Knight Commander (KCIE) in 1904.


King Ugyen Wangchuk, receiving the order of the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire at Punakha Dzong

British Raj : Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) – 1904
British Raj : Delhi Durbar Gold Medal – 1911
British Raj : Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI) – 1911
British Raj : Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE) – 1921

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Royal Ark
  2. ^ Rose, Leo E. (1977). The Politics of Bhutan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. p. 36. ISBN 0-8014-0909-8. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32178. p. 5. 1 January 1921.
Ugyen Wangchuck
Born: 1861 Died: 26 August 1926
Regnal titles
Preceded by
(Hereditary Monarchy Created)
First King of Bhutan
17 December 1907 – 21 August 1926
Succeeded by
Jigme Wangchuck