A prince is born: Bhutan's royal couple announces birth of first child
Bhutan's royal couple on Saturday announced the birth of their first child, a baby prince, delighting the remote Himalayan kingdom where the monarchy is revered.
The newest royal, the son of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema, was safely delivered at Lingkana Palace in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu on February 5, the royal media office said.
"Their majesties and members of the royal family are filled with profound joy on the birth of His Royal Highness," it said in a statement.
"With the blessings of the guardian deities of Bhutan and protectors of the dharma (divine truth), and the prayers of the Bhutanese people, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness The Gyalsey (prince) are both in perfect health."
The prince's birth was marked by sacred Bhutanese traditions with the Je Khenpo, the chief abbot and spiritual leader of the majority Buddhist nation, presiding over religious ceremonies, the office said.
The baby's name has yet to be announced.
Known as the "last Shangri-La" the South Asian kingdom, home to just 750,000 people, famously shuns conventional measures of economic wellbeing, instead compiling a Gross National Happiness index.
Britain's own royals, Prince William and his wife Kate, are to visit Bhutan in the spring as part of an official trip that also includes India, British officials announced last month.
The hugely popular fifth Druk Gyalpo, or Dragon King, studied in Britain and the United States and was officially crowned king in 2008 after his father abdicated two years earlier.
He married Queen Pema in 2011 in an elaborate fairytale wedding ceremony that was the biggest media event in Bhutanese history.
Bhutan had no roads or currency until the 1960s, and only began admitting foreign tourists in 1974 -- but has since developed rapidly.
Below are pictures officially released prior to the birth of the prince.
King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema pose at Paro Ugyen Pelri Palace in Bhutan. (AFP)
This image features in the January 2016 edition of a monthly calendar published online by the Royal Office for Media. (AFP)
Queen Jetsun Pema, 25, and King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 35, delighted the nation in November when they announced they were expecting their first child, a son. (King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck's Facebook page)
He married Queen Pema in 2011 in an elaborate fairytale wedding ceremony that was the biggest media event in Bhutanese history. (King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck's Facebook page)
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck's Facebook page
Sonia Gandhi with King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema in January 25, 2013. (Getty Images)
Follow Emirates 24|7 on Google News.