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King seals wedding with Royal Kiss

Thimphu: Bhutan`s dashing King walked hand-in-hand with his beautiful bride and turned his romantic self inside out, publicly kissing the Queen not once but thrice, throwing the people at his wedding reception here into a rapturous frenzy.

Looking fresh and relaxed, the 31-year-old King Jigme Khesar Nagyel Wangchuck and his Queen Jetsun Pema, who tied the knot two days back in the historic Punakha city walked hand-in-hand today to the Chang Lime Thang Stadium where over 30,000 people had gathered to celebrate their wedding.

After they attained the throne at the centre of the over-flowing stadium, the handsome King surprised his subjects by asking whether they want to see him kiss his sweetheart of several years, whom he had met when he was just 17 during a family picnic.

The crowd erupted into raptures and shouted that they wanted to see him kiss his 21-year-old Queen, currently a student of the Regents College in London.

Having received the expected response from the thousands of attendees, that included women and children, the King kissed Pema on her right cheek as she leaned towards her `Prince Charming`. But the soft-spoken and simplistic-natured King did not stop at that. He again asked the crowd whether they wanted to see him kiss her again. The people again shouted a loud `yes` and Wangchuck this time planted a kiss on Pema`s left cheek, yet again sending the crowd into raptures as the ceremony was beamed live by the state-run Bhutan Broadcasting Service TV.

If one had thought the King, who apparently told Pema on his first sight that he would marry her one day, would leave at this, he was wrong. At his romantic best, the King now asked his subjects, who were thronging the stadium as early as 4 AM, whether they would like to see him kiss his bride on her lips.
"Yes, Yes, Yes," pat came the reply from the people, who adore the King and the Royal Family, and the mountain-biking fanatic had no reason to wait.

As his Queen leaned towards him and came closer, Wangchuck kissed on her lips, amid loud applause from the people. Press photographers from 13 countries, who were just yards away from the couple, jostled with each other to click pictures and seal the moment.

Bhutanese people highly revere the Wangchuck dynasty, which has been ruling the tiny Himalayan Kingdom for the past 100 years, and had been patiently waiting for the King to get married.

They have been waiting for this moment ever since the King announced in May that he has found his Queen in Pema and that he would get married to her in October.

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