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National Day 2008

What a year 2008 has been for Bhutan. A unique Constitution, a brand new democracy, and a dynamic young King. As we celebrate this National Day which marks the last of the celebrations of this special and eventful year, I am overwhelmed at being a close witness to such historic events.

The Grand Chipdrel welcoming His Majesty to the National Stadium.

The Grand Chipdrel procession welcoming His Majesty to the National Stadium.

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Vision to Reality

Kuensel editorial from the 19 December issue titled “From vision to reality” sums up what all of us felt about the 2007 National Day:

It was a moment that carried the weight of Bhutanese history. On the morning of December 17, 2007, exactly 100 years after Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck began the reign of the Wangchuck dynasty, the fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and His Majesty the King, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, bowed to each other, their Royal Scarves lowered in the traditional gesture of respect.

Respect between the Druk Gyaplos

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His Majesty’s National Day Address – 2007

On this historic day, when the nation is gathered as one, I offer, on behalf of the People and King, our love and gratitude to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, whose 34 years of service have brought about a strong, prosperous nation on the cusp of an even brighter future as a democracy.

With our heartfelt gratitude, I also offer our pledge to fulfill His Majesty’s vision for a nation founded on the philosophy of Gross National Happiness and the principles and ideals of Democracy.

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1907 to 2007 – Bhutan through 100 years

Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck’s (1862-1926) reputation as statesman swelled amongst the people of Bhutan when he took over the helm of affairs of eastern Bhutan as Trongsa Penlop in 1882. This, however, injected fear into his adopted brothers Thimphu Dzongpon Alo Dorji and Punakha Dzongpon Phuntsho Dorji. The assassination plan that they conspired led to the Battle of Changlimithang of 1885. This event, often described as Bhutan’s “last civil war”, consolidated Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck’s authority as the undisputed leader of Bhutan. A man of vision and a seasoned diplomat, he successfully restored the prolonged strained relations between British-India and Bhutan by accompanying Younghusband to Tibet in 1904 as a mediator. As a mark of appreciation for successful mediation in 1904 between Tibet and the British he was accorded with the insignia of the Knight Commander of the Indian Empire in Punakha Dzong in 1905.

National Flag of Bhutan

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National Day 2007

This years National Day was a very special day. How many times in the history of the mankind can you see 2 kings at the same time? I am posting some pictures to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to be able to witness such an occasion.

National Day of Bhutan - 2007

17th December, 2007 – a glorious day for a great occasion. The soldiers entering the celebration ground to offer the Guard of Honour.

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