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New style icon of the Orient Queen Jetsun Pema makes Bhutan proud on Japan visit

17 NOVEMBER 2011 Her natural beauty and elegance and her colourful traditional outfits have helped Bhutan's Queen Jetsun Pema become the new fashion icon of the Orient.

And the 21-year-old royal, who has become an ambassador for the ethnic style of her tiny Himalayan state, did her people proud on an official visit to Japan.


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Jesun and her husband King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck were welcomed to Toyko's Imperial Palace by Crown Prince Naruhito.

The prince was stepping in for his absent father, Emperor Akihito, who has been hospitalised with bronchitis symptoms.

Also at the welcome ceremony was Empress Michiko and her younger son Prince Akishimo and his wife Princess Kiko.

Naruhito's wife, Crown Princess Masako, who has been affected by a stress-induced illness, was absent.

At a banquet in the evening, Naruhito praised the couple's state, saying Japan could learn a lot from the way it was governed.


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He was referring to Bhutan's gross national happiness index – which requires the government to measure citizens' contentment rather their material wealth.

King Jigme and his wife, who wed in an elaborate marriage ceremony last October, promised to spend their honeymoon working, and that's exactly what they've done.

Their Japan trip marks pilot's daughter Jetsun's second major trip overseas as queen after the couple visited India.

They are the first state visitors to be welcomed to Japan since the March earthquakes and tsunami.

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