Bhutan’s royals have strengthened their family bonds even further after the King’s half-sister married his brother-in-law.
Princess Eeuphelma of Bhutan, 27, the younger half-sister of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, yesterday tied the knot in a secret ceremony with pilot Dasho Thinlay Norbu, 28, who is the younger brother of the Bhutanese Queen.
It marks yet another union between siblings of the couple – the Queen’s older sister Yeatso Lhamo is married to the King’s brother Prince Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Details of the ceremony were kept a secret up until the very day, but the court shared beautiful pictures of the couple in traditional attire on Instagram to mark the occasion.
It has been reported that members of the Bhutanese royal family all attended the union of Eeuphelma and Dasho after former King Jigme Singye gave his blessing.
Their secret royal wedding in the remote Himalayan kingdom followed in the footsteps of Princess Beatrice, 32, and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 36, who wed at Windsor in July.
It’s not known if the ceremony was held in secret due to Covid-19, but Bhutan has been successful in staving off a major outbreak with 346 cases since March among its population of 754,394, and no reported deaths.
The younger sister of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, 40, Princess Eeuphelma, 27, married her long-time boyfriend Dasho Thinlay Norbu, 28 in a secret ceremony yesterday
The Queen of Bhutan, Jetsun Pema, with her sister Yeatso Lhamo and her husband Prince Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is the King’s brother
In March, the happy couple’s siblings, King Jigme Khesar and Queen Jetsun Pema welcomed their second son d Jigme Ugyen (pictured with their newborn son and the four-year-old prince Jigme Namgyel
The court announced Eeuphelma and Dasho’s union in an Instagram post praising the accomplishments of the couple
The country has closed its main cities to tourists and limiting travel inside the country, as well as implementing national lockdowns and closing schools.
Official pictures of the wedding show Eeuphelma wearing a traditional dress in red with blue sleeves and beautiful embroidery.
Who are the Bhutanese royals?
Bhutan was once one of the most secretive kingdoms in the world, but King Jigme Khesar is a modern monarch who has broken with tradition and is determined to promote the nation on the world stage.
He has ruled since the 2006 abdication of his father, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk. The monarch, who previously held absolute power, stepped down to pave the way for democracy and a constitutional monarchy.
Polygamy is allowed in Bhutan and his father had four wives – all of whom were sisters. However, King Jigme Khesar publicly declared that his wife Jetsun Pema would be the only woman he married.
It’s believed they dated for more than three years before the King proposed, and their relationship raised eyebrows because it was a love match rather than a traditionally arranged marriage.
Breaking with protocol, the couple also lived together before they married.
According to reports, Jetsun’s very first meeting with the future king of Bhutan happened during a family picnic in the capital Thimphu when she was just seven and the prince was 17.
He told a group of students before their wedding that he’d been so moved by her beauty and inner goodness, that he’d got down on his knees and said: ‘When you grow up, if I am single and not married and if you are single and not married, I would like you to be my wife, provided we still feel the same.’
The couple, who were thrust into the international spotlight when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited in 2016, share two sons.
Queen Jetsun Pema is the world’s youngest monarch, aged 30.
The Georgetown University graduate is Bhutan’s sports ambassador, while her new husband flies for the national airline Drukair, following in the footsteps of his father, Dhondup Gyaltshe.
In an Instagram post, the King’s court said: ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck married Dasho Thinlay Norbu in a Royal Wedding ceremony today.
‘The Royal Wedding was held at Dechencholing Palace in Thimphu. The Royal Couple received the blessings of His Majesty The King, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and His Holiness the Je Khenpo.
‘Her Royal Highness Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck was born in 1993 to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck.’
The Instagram announcement went on to praise Princess Eeuphelma’s achievements, and introduce her husband to the public.
‘Her Royal Highness graduated with a major in Sociology from Georgetown University in the United States in 2016,’ it read.
‘As President of the Bhutan Paralympic Committee, Her Royal Highness represents Bhutan internationally to take forward the participation of Bhutanese athletes with disabilities in various global sporting events.’
It also gave more information about Eeuphelma’s groom, and his royal connection.
‘Dasho Thinlay Norbu was born to Yab Dhondup Gyaltshen and Yum Sonam Choki in 1992, and is the younger brother of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen.
‘After graduating from St. Stephen’s college in Delhi University, Dasho trained as a pilot and has been flying for the National Airline Drukair since 2019.’
The post concluded by adding that both Dash and Eeuphelma were ‘Desuups,’ meaning ‘Guardians of Peace’ who work for social welfare in Bhutan through volunteering.
The couple looked moved as they took pictures in their traditional attire. The snaps were shared on the royal court’s official Instagram account
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 40, with his wife Queen Jetsun Pema, who, at 30, is the youngest queen in the world. The royal couple both celebrated the union of their younger siblings yesterday. Pictured: the King and Queen of Bhutan in Japan in 2019
The happy couple in a pictured shared online by a royal fan. Dasho is a pilote, while Euphelma, who graduated from the University of Georgetown in 2016, is a sport ambassador for Bhutan
The couple are understood to have been dating for sometime after making a love match.
It is unknown whether they met through their volunteering, or were introduced by their siblings the King and Queen.
Their union marks another milestone for the royal family of Bhutan after King Jigme Khesar and Queen Jetsun Pema welcomed their second child in March.
The couple already share a four-year-old son Jigme Namgyel but welcomed Jigme Ugyen into their family earlier this year.
Princess Eeuphelma photographed with Mr. Andrew Parsons, the President of the International Paralympic Committee in February 2019. She is President of the Bhutan Paralympic Committee
Bhutan was once one of the most secretive nations in the world, but in recent years it’s been