Yesterday, the Crown Prince of Bhutan, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck (also called the Druk Gyalsey or Dragon Prince), celebrated his 4th birthday.
To coincide with his birthday, his father, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck attended the consecration ceremony of the Druk Wangditse Lhakhang in Thimphu. The little heir accompanied his father.
Also in attendance was the Fourth King (the King’s father), the Queen Mothers, other members of the Royal Family, Prime Minister, government ministers, and those who worked on the renovations.
The Druk Wangditse Lhakhang’s renovations began in 2013 with the guidance of Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Yangdoen Wangchuck. It received royal support, and its implementation was by the division for conservation of heritage sites of the ministry of home and cultural affairs.
The renovations included expanding it to its original size, building a half courtyard, and restoration of the main statue of Buddha and stupas in the inner sanctum, as well as wall paintings.
The Royal Office for Media explained about some of the renovations, “Drawings by Samuel Davis, a British officer who visited Bhutan in 1783, and archaeological findings at the site, including remains of walls and flagstones, helped the renovation team discover how the original structure was, and restore it to the way it was originally built. It is believed that sometime in the 19th or 20th century, the lhakhang was made smaller, perhaps due to damage to some portions.”
The Druk Wangditse Lhakhang, which is dedicated to the King, is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu and is a national heritage site. It is believed the original building was built by 8th Druk Desi of Bhutan in 1715. It did suffer extensive damage during the September 2011 earthquake, and that damage was part of the renovation work.
King Jigme and Queen Jetsun Pema were married in October 2011, and the birth of their first child was honoured by the planting of 108,000 trees in Bhutan by thousands of volunteers. Known simply as The Gyalsey (‘the prince’) for the first few months of his life, the new-born Prince Jigme’s name was not announced to the world until 16 April 2016.
The Crown Prince will be joined by a younger sibling later this year.