The King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, has announced he and his wife are expecting their first child.
Speaking to the nation for his father’s 60th birthday, the King celebrated his father’s life and also announced the Queen is pregnant with a baby boy. The child, expected to be born in the first quarter of 2016, will become heir presumptive to the Bhutanese throne.
The current and fifth Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) is the second-youngest reigning monarch in the world. He acceded to the throne December 2006, aged 26, following his father’s abdication. In October 2011, he married 21-year-old Jetsun Pema in Punakha Dzong, making her the Druk Gyaltsuen (Dragon Queen).
The royals are both from large families – the King having a younger sister, three half-sisters and one half-brother whilst the Queen hails from one of Bhutan’s oldest noble families and is the second eldest of five children. Her elder sister is also the wife of the King’s brother.
Although Bhutan allows polygamy, Wangchuck has said he would never marry another woman and that Pema will be his only wife.
The royal couple have made numerous trips abroad together, including a visit to the UK in November 2011.
The couple, who famously promised to spend their honeymoon working, were welcomed by Prince Charles and Camilla at Clarence House and accompanied the Prince to an engagement in Shoreditch for his Foundation for the Built Environment.
Pema was also educated in London, studying International Relations alongside Psychology and Art History at Regent’s College.