The coronation celebrations in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan ended on Tuesday (4 June) after three days packed with banquets, parades and pageantry.
The coronation celebrations in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan ended on Tuesday (4 June) after three days packed with banquets, parades and pageantry. One of Tuesday's highlights was an archery contest, held in the presence of the new monarch, King Jigme Singhi Wangchuk and his mother, Queen Ashi Kesang.
The contest was at the new Thimpu stadium, one of the many improvements included in a multi-million dollar facelift given the capital before the coronation. The stadium was packed by thousands of the King's people, and many of the two hundred foreign guests also attended. Some of the foreign diplomats joined King Jigme Singhi in the traditional contest.
The King, who was educated in England, says he plans to introduce some of the benefits of modern civilisation to his country, which for centuries has steadfastly clung to ancient ways. However, as evidenced by the archery contest, those old ways will not be entirely deserted.
After the contest, King Jigme Singhi had important talks with Indian President V.V. Giri, a guest in Bhutan for the coronation. India is Bhutan's southern neighbour and is the largest single donor of aid. Bhutan's army, under a special treaty, is trained by India.