Her Majesty Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan celebrated World Environment Day yesterday by inaugurating the new Thimphu Eco Park, which is located close to the Changangkha Lhakhan, the oldest temple in Thimpu. It comprises a large wetland area and contains a wide variety of flora and fauna. Queen Jetsun Pema, or Druk Gyaltsuen (Dragon Queen) has a serious interest in the environment and she also planted a tree to mark the occasion. She also met with students from the area.
Queen Jetsun Pema opened a local produce shop, which will be supplied by farmers and rural communities from the country, and a restaurant serving traditional Bhutanese cuisine. The shop will not only sell food but also traditional handicrafts. The Thimpu Eco Park hopes to attract both locals and tourists for a day out.
Queen Jetsun Pema celebrated her 26th birthday yesterday by attending the 2nd Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition along her husband, His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Her Majesty’s father-in-law, the Fourth King and other members of the Bhutanese Royal Family including three of the Fourth King’s grandchildren. Her newborn son,His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, also made an appearance, to the delight of the crowd. The exhibition was held in the gronds of the Ugyen Pelri Palace and Queen Jetsun Pema lit a butterlamp as part of the opening ceremony.
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, the King has said he would never marry another woman and that Jetsun Pema will be his only wife.