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His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
HRH the Crown Prince Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
The Chhoetse Penlop in the kuenrey of Tashichhodzong during the auspicious
Tendrel ceremony, October 2004
Having completed his formal education in institutions at home and abroad and having received the traditional Bhutanese process of instruction under the close supervision of His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, assumed the revered historical position of Chhoetse Penlop on October 21, 2004.

Born on February 21, 1980, His Royal Highness thus received full exposure to an environment of global learning without losing touch with the traditions and disciplines of the royal household, the rich religious and cultural heritage of Bhutan, and the current realities that the kingdom is going through. Growing up in Bhutan and studying in Bhutanese schools, His Royal Highness developed a close rapport with Bhutanese youth and came to know first hand their concerns and their aspirations for the future.

His Royal Highness became the Chief Patron of the Scouts Association of Bhutan and, at an early age, played a public role in giving direction to the youth of Bhutan. In his interactions with the scouts and students His Royal Highness always emphasised the need to preserve traditional values which stress commitment and loyalty to the spiritual leaders, the royal government, to teachers and parents, and the important role youth would have to play in the country's future.

After completing early schooling in Bhutan, His Royal Highness completed high school and graduated from the Cushing Academy and the Wheaton College, USA. In 2000, His Royal Highness continued further education in Magdalen College, Oxford University. His Royal Highness completed the Foreign Service Programme and a M Phil programme in Politics at Oxford University.

With an unwavering interest in youth issues and the well being of Bhutanese youth, His Royal Highness opened the first juvenile rehabilitation complex in Tsimalakha in June, 1999. His Royal Highness noted that, while juvenile crime was not widespread in Bhutan, it was an unfortunate reality that young people were dropping out of school, leaving their village homes for the attraction of urban life, and being caught up in some aspects of the emerging social problems.

His Royal Highness traveled extensively in attendance to His Majesty the King. His active public role in Bhutan included the Plan meetings and close interaction with the Bhutanese people.

His Royal Highness made his first National Day address in Trongsa on December 17, 2000. "We are enjoying the fruits of the hard work and sacrifices made by our forefathers who served the nation and the people with loyalty and dedication," said His Royal Highness, addressing the people of Trongsa. "We must now strive to fulfill the sacred responsibilities we have inherited and take the nation forward into the future."

In 2001, when His Royal Highness celebrated National Day in Punakha, 80-year old Namgay Tshering of Umtekha village said, "We are fortunate to celebrate National Day so informally with the great son of a great King. I have had the honour of seeing his royal ancestors and, just like them, he will truly be a people's King in the future."

In August 2001, His Royal Highness made his first official visit abroad on the invitation of the government of India. During the 12-day visit His Royal Highness called on the then President of India, Shri K.R. Narayanan, Shrimati Sonia Gandhi, the President of the Congress (I) and held wide ranging discussions with senior officials of the government of India.

On May 8, 2002, His Royal Highness represented Bhutan at the 27th UN General Assembly, during the "UN special session for children", one of the most important international conferences ever held to create a "World Fit for Children". Addressing the leaders of the 190 member countries, 200 parliamentarians from 77 countries, 2000 delegates from non-governmental organisations, 350 child delegates from 150 countries, celebrities and an array of leaders from the business world, the arts and culture areas, and academics, His Royal Highness said that poverty, disease, hunger and pain affected all societies. "My first thought on this issue remains my guiding priority today," he said. "It is our duty to build a future which ensures that every child will be free of these afflictions. To achieve this we must all work together in a spirit of commitment, trust, and mutual respect while taking great care to plan - not just a few years ahead - but generations into the future."

In August 2003, His Royal Highness visited India again on the invitation of the Indian Vice President, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. During the visit a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two governments to establish an India-Bhutan Foundation, to "enrich and expand" bilateral relations through more interaction between the people of the two countries. During the visit His Royal Highness called upon the President of India, Shri A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, the prime minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee and the vice president, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, and visited the Delhi University. During the visit His Royal Highness also gave a talk on Indo-Bhutan relations to a gathering at the India International Centre.

With His Majesty the King in Dewathang during the military operations against the Indian militants in December, 2003, His Royal Highness touched many Bhutanese hearts by remaining in Thimphu. In his public address to the nation on December 17, during the 96th National Day celebrations in Thimphu, His Royal Highness reminded the people that His Majesty the King had always said that the development of Bhutan was extremely important but what was even more important was to make the Bhutanese people capable of overcoming the challenges of the future.

His Royal Highness plays an increasingly active role in numerous organisations and is the Chairman of the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation, President of Bhutan India Friendship Association, Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan, and Patron of the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature and the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Among His Royal Highness's responsibilities outside the country, he is the Patron of the India Bhutan Foundation, the European Convention of Bhutan Societies, the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, and many others.

His Royal Highness is an avid sportsman, taking active part in archery and basketball tournaments. His Royal Highness is also the patron of the Bhutan Shooting Federation (BSF) which was established in 1997.

In a simple ceremony at Samteling Royal Cottage on June 25, 2002, His Majesty the King awarded the Red Scarf to His Royal Highness Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

"There is no greater honour than to follow in the footsteps of His Majesty the King, for this means only one thing - being in the service of the nation," His Royal Highness has said. "After all, my goals and aspirations are lodged within those of my country. My foremost desire is to work for the greater good of the nation and the Bhutanese people."

Contributed by Karma Choden, KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper, 2006
December 14, 2006
His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk said that the responsibilities of the Throne would be delegated to the Chhoetse Penlop before 2008. His Royal Highness Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck will be enthroned as the fifth Druk Gyalpo in 2008.
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