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Move over Disney, King of Bhutan marries Jetsun Pema – a commoner (video)

The king of Bhutan married commoner Jetsun Pema in an elaborate Buddhist ceremony today, captivating the entire country.

By Staff writer / October 13, 2011

King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck,, and Queen Jetsun Pema greet locals during a celebration after they were married, at the Punakha Dzong, Bhutan. The 31 year-old reformist monarch of the small Himalayan Kingdom wed his commoner bride today, in a series ceremonies in the 17th century monastic fortress.

Kevin Frayer/AP


Another lavish royal wedding has captivated a nation.

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This time it’s the tiny, secluded nation of Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas.

What’s capturing Bhutan’s attention is that King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck chose to marry a commoner. It’s a tale as old as time, or, at least, Disney.

Prince Charming (his nickname in Thailand) is hugely popular and his new queen, 10 years his junior, is Jetsun Pema.

Images of the wedding were broadcast live across the country and showed King Jigme Wangchuk coming down from his golden throne to place a silk crown on the head of his bride Pema in front of massive Buddha statues.

Trumpets, drums, and baby elephants

The ceremony, which took place in Bhutan’s holiest temple, included ceremonial trumpets, drums, singers, and, of course, baby elephants wearing traditional robes.

She wore a traditional wraparound skirt with a gold jacket with red cuffs. He wore a crown with the traditional raven’s head adorning it, and a royal yellow sash over a golden robe with red flowers and bright, multicolored boots.

No international celebrities or foreign royals were in attendance, as King Jigme wanted to keep it “a simple family affair,” according to AP. This didn’t seem to matter to the thousands of Bhutanese who traveled to the valley to join in the celebration.


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