Dragon Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck is the son of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema. He recently took a break from posing for the country’s monthly calendar photos to take his heart-stealing talents to India on a trip with his parents.
Prince Jigme is currently the royal couple’s only son and the heir to the throne. The position of king is currently held by his father, and has been since his grandfather, Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne in 2006 for his son to take over responsibility in 2008, says the BBC.
Bhutan became a democratic, constitutional monarchy in 2008. Like the government in the United Kingdom, Bhutan’s king serves as the head of state, while a prime minister oversees the government. The role of the king, then, and eventually Prince Jigme, is and will be “primarily representative, serving to symbolize the unity and integrity of the state at home and abroad,” according to Britannica.
King Jigme is widely respected and beloved in Bhutan, and oversaw the country’s final stages toward a full democracy in 2008. “He travelled extensively around the country encouraging people to take part in the vote ― in which both main parties competed for power on similar manifestos, utterly loyal to their king,” BBC reported at the time. The king and his wife have hosted Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge when they made a trip to the region in April 2016.
The royal family’s most recent trip, a four-day tour of India that began Tuesday, was thought to be a significant step toward moving forward together after a conflict between India and China over territory in the Doklam peninsula.
“In the aftermath of the Doklam standoff, the king’s visit could help an exchange of views on the matter at the highest levels in India and Bhutan,” Harsh V. Pant, a professor of international relations at King’s College in London told Indian website LiveMint.
Check out some of our favorite photos of the prince, including some from his trip to India, below.