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Bhutan’s Queen Mother receives 2020 UN Population Award

By Duptho Rinzin Dorji/Shangri-La Bhutan Tours & Treks (, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bhutan’s Queen Mother, Sangay Choden Wangchuck, 57, has received the 2020 UN Population Award for her contributions in raising awareness for population and reproductive issues.

The Queen Mother was presented the award on 10 December during a virtual awards ceremony. Members of the Royal Family attended the special viewing ceremony as she was given the honour and were able to watch the special documentary that reflected on her 21 years working with the UN’s Population Fund.

The UN Population Award has been given out annually since 1983, and the winners are selected by the Committee for the United Nations Population Award. Sangay Choden Wangchuck won the award for her “outstanding contribution in raising awareness and devising solutions to population and reproductive health issues,” according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Queen Mother expressed her gratitude for the award and said it was of personal significance because it represents matters so close to her heart – the aspirations and hopes of the most vulnerable children and women. Sangay Choden Wangchuck made sure to thank those who have helped her and the UN Population Fund, crediting them for her receiving the award. She also touched on the COVID pandemic and the toll it has taken on women and girls while sharing her hope that a vaccine will be affordable and accessible to all across the globe.

Her Majesty thanked her husband and her stepson for their support and leadership over the years, as well.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck congratulated his stepmother on his official Facebook page, and Queen Jetsun Pema also praised her stepmother-in-law on Facebook.

She is the youngest of the former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s four wives and has been the Goodwill Ambassador in Bhutan for the United Nations Population Fund.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.