Bhutan Royal Wedding
Bhutan's popular King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck tied the nuptial knot with his childhood sweetheart and India-educated commoner Jetsun Pema on 13 October in a traditional Buddhist ceremony at a stunning fortress in the historical city of Punakha, 71 km from capital Thimphu.
Amid chanting of hymns by red-robe Buddhist monks and clanging of drums by Bhutanese, the 31-year-old dashing Wangchuck placed the crown on the head of 21-year-old Pema, whom he met when he was 17, as the Chief Abot (head of the monks) of Bhutan Je Khenpo led the proceedings.
Pema, who wore a yellow jacket and a skirt according to the traditions, was proclaimed the 'Queen of the Kingdom of Bhutan' as the King bestowed the crown on her after a series of ceremonies that was attended by 300 guests, including Indian Ambassador to Bhutan Pavan K Varma and West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, and members of the Royal Family.
Wearing a raven crown, the King stood with a smile on his chuckle as Pema prostrated herself before him thrice according to the traditions and was served with a liquid that according to belief is for longivity of the couple.
After a two-hour ceremony, Wangchuck and Pema were declared husband and wife and posed for television and still cameras at a specially-arranged room in the monastery.
Later, the King and the Queen joined thousands of Bhutanese at the huge ground near the palace in celebrating the Royal Wedding by dancing and singing with their subjects.
While the guests, including envoys of various nations and personal invitees of the King, were served a traditional Bhutanese lunch that also had Indian items like roti.
Around 60 culinary experts from all 20 Valleys of Bhutan have been engaged in preparing the food items for the guests.