Thu, November 06, 2008
World > Asia-Pacific

Bhutan's new king crowned

2008-11-06 05:22:47 GMT2008-11-06 13:22:47 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The fifth king of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck receives blessings at the coronation ceremony in Thimphu, Bhutan, Nov. 6, 2008. The fifth king of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was adorned with crown at the coronation ceremony Thursday. The Oxford educated 28-year-old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck became the world's youngest reigning monarch after the coronation. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck walks with Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley (L) during his coronation ceremony in Thimpu November 6, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The coronation ceremony is held in Thimphu, Bhutan, Nov. 6, 2008. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

The coronation ceremony is held in Thimphu, Bhutan, Nov. 6, 2008. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

NEW DELHI, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The fifth king of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was adorned with crown Thursday at a coronation ceremony, reports reaching here said.

The Oxford educated 28-year-old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the oldest son of the former Bhutanese king. He became the world's youngest reigning monarch and head of the newest democracya fter the coronation.

Sounds of giant gongs and Buddhist hymns echoed the white-walled Golden Throne Room at Tashichhodzong in capital Thimphu, a fortress that is now the seat of the government, as the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck handed over the crown to the new king Thursday morning, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.

A host of foreign dignitaries and the ambassadors of 23 countries were witness to the historic ceremony.

The traditional ceremony with Buddhist rituals would be followed by felicitations in the afternoon by more than 20,000 people at Tendrel Thang, the ceremonial ground in Thimphu. Bhutan will enjoy three days of national celebrations following Thursday's ceremony, .

The entire Thimphu city wears a festive look with men and women in traditional dresses lined up in the street outside the fortress, waiting for a glimpse of the new king, the report said.

Bhutan held its first parliamentary elections earlier this year making a historic shift from a 100-year-old monarchy to democracy.

The former king Jigme Singye Wangchuck decided in December 2006to abdicate the throne in favour of his eldest son. He had set the process in 2001 for Bhutan's transformation from an absolute monarch to a parliamentary democracy that led to the country having a new constitution.

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