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Rahul only foreign guest at guard of honour for Bhutan’s royal couple

As the three days of festivities to celebrate the wedding of King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema concluded

Written by Nandini Nair | Thimphu | Published: October 16, 2011 2:45:59 am

As the three days of festivities to celebrate the wedding of King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema concluded here today,AICC general secretary was the only foreign dignitary present at the guard of honour that was a part of the final day’s celebrations.

Early this morning,the newly-married couple was given a guard of honour at the majestic Tashichho Dzong (fortress-temple also the King’s office),in the presence of the royal family,senior monks and politicians. Rahul entered the dzong with the fourth king,Jigme Singye Wangchuk.

Chatting with the four Queen Mothers,he stood out in his white kurta and black waistcoat in a sea of brocades and silks,as they awaited the royal couple.

PTI quoted Dasho Kinley Dorji,Secretary,Bhutan’s Ministry of Information and Communication,as saying: “He is the only guest invited for the ceremony. He is a very close friend of our King and both families have had an excellent relationship over the years.”

While the guard of honour at the dzong was open only to top religious leaders,senior heads of state and family members,the celebrations continued in front of 40,000-odd people at a stadium in Thimphu.

Here the King relented to the crowd and even pecked his demure bride,not once,but twice on the cheek and once on the lips.

Compared to her wedding day,when she looked overwhelmed,Queen Jetsun Pema seemed be growing accustomed to her royal duties today.

Yesterday,the royal couple met thousands along the 71-km road from Punakha (the wedding venue) to Thimphu. The couple covered at least 10 kms on foot,meeting and talking to people who lined their path.

Today,the couple mingled with the crowds at the stadium,accepted gifts,signed a few autographs and sat amidst them.

King Wanghuck made a short speech,expressing his and his wife’s gratitude and promising to dedicate their lives to the country’s service. He even joined his ministers in a dance.

Not quite in practice,he often missed a beat,and went clockwise when the 20-odd other dancers moved anti-clockwise,much to the glee of the crowd.

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