In Bhutan, a Lavish Royal Wedding
Thousands of villagers attend extravagant reception
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2011 9:01 AM CDT
Bhutanese students hold umbrellas as they practice a dance to be performed during the wedding festivities, Monday, Oct. 10, 2001.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
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(Newser) – The wedding of King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, Bhutan’s fifth Dragon King, was an extravagant affair outside a sacred 17th century monastery fortress, featuring dancers performing traditional routines, singers chanting celebratory songs, and a procession of monks and flag bearers leading the soon-to-be-queen inside. Even so, there were no celebrities, heads of state, or foreign princes present this morning when the king, known to be down-to-earth, married his commoner bride, Jetsun Pema, the daughter of an airline pilot.

Instead, just the royal family, government officials, and thousands of nearby villagers attended the festivities as many more Bhutanese watched on TV. The king’s good looks, accessibility, and support of democratic reforms have made him quite popular, but the AP notes that his nation was getting impatient with his ongoing bachelorhood at age 31. His new queen is 21. Click for more on the lavish affair, including the king’s thoughts on what it’s like to be married.

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