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Enter the Dragon King after a two-year wait on astrologers' orders

08 OCTOBER 2011

At exactly 8.31am on Thursday a 28-year-old Oxford graduate received the silk embroidered Raven Crown worn by Bhutan's kings, and became the youngest monarch on the planet.

Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, a bachelor, was given the title of Druk Gyalpo, meaning Dragon King, during a ceremony in the Himalayan kingdom.

 

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The coronation was delayed for two years until astrologers could find an auspicious date.

The young royal's much-loved father, 52-year-old Jigme Singye Wangchuck, announced he was stepping down in December 2006 as part of a plan to bring democracy to his people.

The elder Wangchuck has been gradually reforming a country which had no roads until the Sixties and only allowed TV in 1999.

 

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This week tens of thousands of people crowded to a 17th-century white-walled fortress in the capital Thimpu for the festivities.

Some, including nomadic yak herders from the icy mountains of the north and members of the Hindu minority from the subtropical south, had trekked for days to be present.

During the service the new king was given offerings of fruit, wine and food, as well as eight objects symbolising the virtues a good monarch should have.

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