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Bhutan celebrates Royal wedding

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Bhutan celebrates Royal wedding


Bhutan is the last monarchy standing in the Himalayas, a country of just 700,000 souls, most of whom are rejoicing following the marriage of the popular 31-year-old king to a 21-year-old commoner.

Jetsun Pema becomes queen of a nation that only built its first roads in the 1960s, and where television was banned until 1999.

But since his father stepped aside from absolute monarchy in 2006 and democracy was given its chance, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck has won a reputation for openness and hard work, living in a cottage in the capital and often cycling round the city. He has struck a sensitive balance between Bhutan’s ancient traditions and the modern world the Oxford-educated king is a product of.

Bhutan’s economy is built around hydropower and tourism, but poverty remains widespread and grievances are many. The King acts as an ombudsman, making sure problems are heard in government, and he has won his people’s respect.

Now all that is missing is a royal heir.

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