Bhutan has celebrated a royal wedding with a lavish ceremony in an ancient Himalayan monastic fortress in the old capital of Punakha.
King Wangchuck, 31, married 21-year-old student Jetsun Pema, the daughter of an airline pilot.
The king is widely revered in a nation which is slowly embracing democracy following his father’s abdication in 2006 to introduce parliamentary elections.
“I am happy. I have been waiting quite some time,” the king told reporters after the ceremony.
“She is a wonderful human being, intelligent. Her and I share one big thing in common – love and passion for art.”
Thousands of people, dressed in traditional coloured robes, gathered outside as the ceremony got under way.
|1) King Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema greeted residents in Punakha, Bhutan’s ancient capital [Reuters]|
|2) The couple were married at the sacred monastery fortress Dzong [EPA]|
|3) Pins and badges were for sale as part of the celebrations [EPA]|
|4) The Buddhist nation is home to about 700,000 people [Reuters]|