The beloved king of the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan has married his commoner bride in an ancient Buddhist ceremony at the country's most sacred monastery fortress.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck came down from his golden throne in front of a huge statue of Buddha on Thursday morning to place the crown upon the head of bride Jetsun Pema. He returned to his seat as monks chanted in the background, and she sat upon the throne beside him as the new queen of the country.
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THIMPHU, Bhutan (AP) — The royal wedding of the king of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to his commoner bride has begun with a procession of red-robed monks, the chants of welcome, the clanging of drums and the drone of long trumpets.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, 31, arrived at 8:20 a.m. Thursday at Bhutan's most sacred monastery fortress in the old capital of Punakha wearing the bright yellow sash of royalty. His bride, 21-year-old Jetsun Pema, followed a few minutes later, crossing a wooden footbridge over a wide, blue river beside the fort.
Once inside, the couple took part in a purification ceremony led by the nation's chief Buddhist cleric before moving to the temple for the main portion of the ceremony.