The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aren’t the only royals to visit Bhutan this year because Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand is currently halfway through a four-day official visit to the country this week.
Her Royal Highness was met by Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck at Paro International Airport on Monday. After her arrival, the princess first visited the Kyichu Monastery in Paro and took the opportunity to take photographs of her own. She also enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Taktshang.
Later that day, Her Royal Highness paid a visit to Wanakha Central School to catch up on the progress made on an agricultural project she funded in 2012. To mark her visit there, she planted a cypress tree before the school’s main building and chatted with students.
Yesterday morning, the princess was granted an audience with His Majesty, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. It was held at Tashichhodzong, the royal and governmental palace located in Thimphu. There, she also met with His Majesty’s father, Fourth Druk Gyalpo, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. For this special occasion the princess wore a mix of Thai and Bhutanese dress consisting of an elegantly embroidered lilac-coloured silk Kira, a traditional Bhutanese floor-length gown which she paired with a fitted jacket.
The Princess was escorted to the palace by a traditional “Chibdrel” procession, which is a procession of men on horseback. Then, the King himself assisted her to the magnificent Grand Kuenrey room where monks prayed their daily prayers before a statue of the Buddha.
They lit 1000 butterlamps and prayed for the good health and long life of the Princess’s father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been in and out of the hospital for the past year. Last evening, King Jigme and Queen Jetsam Pema also hosted a private dinner for Princess Sirindhorn at Lingkana Palace.