Bhutan rejoices over Gyalsey's birth, the crown prince; Modi congrats Their Majesties

February 6, 2016

THIMPHU: Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan has given birth to a crown prince for the Himalayan kingdom. Everone in the country is thrilled. Prayers are being held at all sacred places. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Their Majesties the King Jigme Wangchuk and the Queen. The birth of the Gyalsey is considered an assurance of continuity of the Wangchuck dynasty as enshrined in the genja of 1907 and the Constitution of Bhutan. Her Majesty and the Gyalsey are doing well at the palace. For the Bhutanese, "a year of the most marvelous conjunction of events, or tendril", as they say, "the Year of the Male Fire Monkey, which comes but once in 60 years!"

The Queen gave birth to the royal couple's first child on Friday at the Lingkana Palace in the Capital Thimphu, the royal media office announced. "Their Majesties and members of the Royal family are filled with profound joy on the birth of His Royal Highness," the statement said.

The King Jigme Wangchuk offered prayers at Tashichhodzong, Dechenphu, Pangrizampa and at the Gesar lhakang amidst hundreds of well-wishers at these 'nyes' (sacred sites), dzongs and lhakhangs across the country offering prayers on the occasion of the birth of the Gyalsey.

“The birth of the Gyalsey is an unequivocal assurance of continuity of the Wangchuck Dynasty as enshrined in the inviolable and historic genja of 1907 and the Constitution of Bhutan,” the Chief Justice, Tshering Wangchuk, said.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, congratulated Their Majesties on social media. Indian ambassador Jaideep Sarkar and his wife lit butter lamps at Tashichhodzong and prayed for the good health and well-being of The Gyalsey. “We share the great joy and happiness of the people of Bhutan on this very special occasion,” Sarkar said.

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 35, had married commoner Jetsun Pema in 2011. The announcement of pregnancy came last November. Wangchuk was at his wife's side during the birth. The baby's name has not yet been announced.

The couple and the baby will have royal visitors soon. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be on an official visit to Bhutan this spring.

Wangchuk was educated in India and Britain and took over after the abdication of his father Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 2006. In 2008, Bhutan made the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and held its first general election. The king relinquished his absolute powers.

The kingdom is also well-known for its 'Gross National Happiness' index. It is an alternative to the GDP index. The 'Gross National Happiness' index measures personal happiness as opposed to economic growth of GDP.

SEE: All about Bhutan

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