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King of Bhutan receives Special Award of Recognition from UNDP

King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan has received the Special Award of Recognition from the United Nations Development Programme.

The King, 39, was presented the award on Wednesday, 13 March by Mr Achim Steiner, the Administrator of UNDP and United Nations Under-Secretary-General.

His Majesty was presented with this special award due to “his leadership in advancing human development and the wellbeing and happiness of the people of Bhutan,” according to the Royal Office for Media.

The award took into account three significant achievements in human development. The Royal Office for Media explained them as, “His Majesty’s championing of the holistic development paradigm of Gross National Happiness, His Majesty’s leadership in environment conservation and climate action which has resulted in Bhutan being the only carbon negative country in the world, and His Majesty’s guidance, which ensured a smooth transition of the system of governance and strong democratic foundations to be established in Bhutan.”

“This has been evident from the significant and tangible development results reflected in the National Human Development Report of 10 years of Democracy,” they added.

The King also granted Citizenship Kidu to 359 people yesterday and met them in an audience at the Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong. These citizens took part in a ceremony of Oath of Allegiance to the Tsa-Wa-Sum and were reminded by the King of the responsibilities of being a Bhutanese citizen.

King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck was born on 21 February 1980 in Nepal and ascended the throne after the abdication of his father, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, on 9 December 2006. The reigning monarch’s coronation took place in November 2008.

King Jigme Nangyel announced his engagement to Jetsun Pema at an opening of Bhutan’s parliament on 20 May 2011. The pair married on 13 October 2011 in what was described as Bhutan’s largest media event in history.

Together, they have one child, Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck (also called The Gyalsey) who was born in Lingkana Palace on 5 February 2016.

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.