Known as the ‘people’s king’, His Majesty JIgme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk became 5th King of Bhutan in 2006. His Majesty the King is a down-to-earth monarch who promised to never rule his subject as a King but to protect citizens as a parent, care as a brother and serve as a son. His Majesty pronounced that He will give everything and keep nothing. Following are 8 characteristics of the humble monarch.
1. His Majesty the King cooked for primary school students
An earthquake with the moment magnitude of 6.1 struck eastern Bhutan in September 2009. The disaster killed a few people and damaged several houses and monasteries. His Majesty the King visited the affected sites and met with victims of the disaster. On one occasion, His Majesty dropped by a primary school and cooked lunch for the students.
2. His Majesty plays with kids barefoot
In June 2009, while on a tour, His Majesty dropped by to play soccer with children of the Zunglen Primary School in Mongar. Kids as well as His Majesty played bare foot.
In another occasion, His Majesty played a game, Duck, Duck, Goose with student and people of Jurmey in Mongar.
3. His Majesty interacts with his people in rain
His Majesty travels wide and far, to the plains, and to the mountains to meet his people. Sometimes, rain welcomes the arrival of His Majesty but rain cannot stop him from meeting his people. He does not rest until meeting His people. Besides that, His Majesty turns down an umbrella and interacts with people in rain.
4. His Majesty does not mind walking through flood water
His Majesty makes sure to meet with people affected by natural disasters to console and render help. A flood in Sarpang in 2016 washed away shops and even Tsirang-Sarpang Highway. During evacuation of people and property, His Majesty walked through flood water with volunteers.
5. His Majesty dropped tears for Late Thai King
The news of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in 2016 brought immense sorrow to His Majesty the King. His Majesty commanded that special prayers be held and butter lamps be lit in sacred temples across Bhutan. His Majesty flew to attend a symbolic royal cremation of the Late King in Thailand. There, His Majesty dropped tears during the ceremony and cremation ceremony.
6. His Majesty drank local brew from a poison giver
A 48-year-old woman in Lhuntsi has been labeled a poison giver. Drinking or eating anything from her hands was believed to result in sickness or death. She was ostracized. His Majesty drank a local brew from her hand and declared that she was not a poison giver. Poison giving became a mere myth after that incident.
7. His Majesty planted trees to celebrate the birth of prince
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Zhabdrung’s arrival in Bhutan, and in honor of the Birth of the Crown Prince, His Majesty the King, along with the Zhung Dratshang led by His Holiness the Je Khenpo, planted 400 trees around the Thangzona in Punakha in 2016.
8. His Majesty continuous grants kidu
His majesty grants Kidu in the form of land and support. His Majesty continues to grant land to landless around the country. His Majesty also supports unprivileged students to continue education, elderly citizens, and those requiring medical treatments.