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Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Jigme singye wangchuck name.svg
King Father of Bhutan
Jigme Singye Wangchuck 2008.jpg
King of Bhutan
Reign 24 July 1972 – 9 December 2006
Coronation 2 June 1974
Predecessor Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
Successor Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
King Father of Bhutan
Reign 9 December 2006 – present
Born 11 November 1955 (1955-11-11) (age 65)
Dechencholing Palace, Thimphu
Spouse 1st consort-Dorji Wangmo
2nd consort-Tshering Pem
3rd consort-Tshering Yangdon
4th consort-Sangay Choden
Issue Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Sonam Dechen Wangchuck
Dechen Yangzom Wangchuck
Kesang Choden Wangchuck
Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck
Khamsum Singye Wangchuck
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
Euphelma Choden Wangchuck
Ugyen Jigme Wangchuck
House Wangchuck
Father Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
Mother Kesang Choden
Religion Vajrayana Buddhism

Jigme Singye Wangchuck (Dzongkha: འཇིགས་མེད་སེང་གེ་དབང་ཕྱུག་, Wylie: jigs med seng ge dbang pyug; born 11 November 1955) is a member of the House of Wangchuck who was the king of Bhutan (Druk Gyalpo) from 1972 until his abdication in favour of his eldest son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, in 2006.

During his reign, he advocated the use of a Gross National Happiness index to measure the well-being of citizens rather than Gross domestic product.

Early life

Jigme Singye Wangchuck was born in Dechencholing Palace in Thimphu, Bhutan, on 11 November 1955. to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck. The political officer of India stationed in Sikkim and the representative of the Sikkimese government came soon after to offer felicitations to the royal parents and to pay their respect to the newborn prince. At the age of four, sometime in 1959, the young Crown Prince received the offerings of good wishes and respects by the public, monks, and officials for the first time in Tashichho Dzong.

Wangchuck received western and traditional learning in various institutions. He began studying at Dechencholing Palace, when he was six years old, in 1961. Soon afterwards, he went to study at St. Joseph's School, Darjeeling, in India. In 1964, he attended Heatherdown School in England where he completed his studies in 1969. The next phase of his formal education took place at Namselling Palace in 1969. Finally, he attended Ugyen Wangchuck Academy at Satsham Choten in Paro, which was established in 1970, along with a class of selected students from all over Bhutan.

Crown Prince

In 1971 Wangchuck's father appointed Wangchuck as the Chairman of National Planning Commission, charged with the planning and co-ordination of the five year development plan. The following year, on 16 June 1972, he was made the Trongsa Penlop bestowing on him directly the saffron scarf or namza. The 3rd Five-Year Plan (FYP), which spanned the period 1971–77, was in progress when his father died. Wangchuck was 16 at that time. 1972 to 1976 was the period of the 3rd FYP, and 1976 to 1981 was the period of 4th FYP. As both King and the Chairman of the National Planning Commission, the clearing house for the programmes and projects, Wangchuck guided the planned activities first in broad terms and then increasingly in detail.

Royal Wedding

In a public ceremony, the Royal Wedding of Wangchuck was held in Dechog Lhakhang in Punakha Dzong on 31 October 1988, corresponding with the Descending Day of Buddha. The four queens, Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Tshering Pem Wangchuck, Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck and Sangay Choden Wangchuck are daughters of Dasho Yab Ugyen Dorji, the descendant of both the mind and speech incarnations of Ngawang Namgyal, and Yum Thuiji Zam.

Previously, they had married privately in 1979.

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