Bhutan Royal Couple to Pay State Visit to Japan

Posted October 18th, 2011 at 2:10 am (UTC-5)
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The world's newest royal couple, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his bride Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, will pay a state visit to Japan next month.

Japanese officials announced the visit Tuesday, saying the king and queen will be in the country from November 15 to 19. Officials said the emperor and empress of Japan will meet the young couple and host a state banquet in their honor.

King Jigme, the world's youngest monarch at age 31, and 21-year-old Queen Jetsun captured worldwide attention with their colorful traditional wedding ceremony in Bhutan last week.

Oxford-educated King Jigme is the fifth Druk Gyalpo, or king of the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Some of his subjects also refer to him as “The People's King.”

He became Bhutan's first constitutional king in 2008 two years after his father, King Jigme Singye, voluntarily stepped down and ordered that a constitution be drafted and the country shift to a parliament-based democracy.