English | Dzongkha Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Thousands celebrate in Changlimithang

Oct 15, 2011

Tens of thousands of people packed the Changlimithang stadium as the nation celebrated the royal wedding of His Majesty the King to Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Jetsun Pema Wangchuck today.

Many had come as early as 2 am in the morning to make sure that they will be not left out and miss the opportunity of catching a glimpse of their King and Queen.

Long before the royal couple, the dignitaries and the guests arrived and the celebrations began, the stadium was literally overflowing. After sometime, police had to deny entry for the safety and comfort of the spectators who were already inside the stadium. Many returned home to watch the celebrations live on BBS TV.

The only noticeable outside guest at the celebrations was India’s Congress General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi, a longtime friend of the Bhutanese royal family.

The celebrations began with His Majesty unveiling a Guru Thongdroel, roughly the size of a 12 storied building, by far the biggest Thongdroel to be made in history, and Their Majesties the King and the Queen lighting butter lamps and offering prayers to the Guru Thongdroel.

Midway through the celebrations, His Majesty made a brief, impromptu speech, to thank the people and the organisers for the seamless celebrations. His Majesty began by talking about how happy he was for being able to celebrate his wedding with his people.

His Majesty thanked His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo for the socio-economic progress Bhutan has made and the continued peace and prosperity it enjoys, the Royal Grand Mother and Their Majesties the Queen Mothers for their support and tireless service to the nation and concluded the brief, informal speech by pledging to serve the nation tirelessly with Her Majesty the Queen.

Before His Majesty began his speech, he surprised the nation by planting a kiss, first on the cheek and after a moment’s hesitation on the lips of Her Majesty the Queen in full public view which was received by thunderous clapping and cheering by the crowd.

The celebrations were majestic with one entertaining cultural programme after another. The highlight of the celebrations was the presentation of the Wangzhey performed by His Majesty the King leading a team comprising of the Prime Minister, the opposition leader, cabinet ministers, and members of the parliament which they performed with grace and panache.

The Wangzhey was first performed by the people of Wang Tshochen Gay at Pangrizampa for the reception of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen spent a good part of the day walking hand in hand among the people, stopping every now and then to talk to them, asking them whether they are enjoying themselves, to hold their hands, or lift a child a child to plant a kiss on its cheek.

The celebrations ended with Tashi Lay-bay.

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