King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan and his wife Jetsun Pema have released an official portrait that highlights the Queen’s growing baby bump.
The image is the January instalment of an online calendar released by the Royal Office, and shows the young couple wearing colourful robes as the King rests his hand on his wife’s stomach. Taken in the grounds of Paro Ugyen Pelri Palace in Bhutan, the image was shared by the royal couple on their official Facebook pages to mark the New Year.
“Our new year gift to everyone is this lovely calendar, featuring a heartwarming image of our King and Queen, in Paro Ugyen Pelri Palace,” the post from Yellow Bhutan read. “This year, our happiness is immeasurable as we look forward to the birth of our Prince. It is going to be a beautiful year in Bhutan, and we invite you to share some of the joy with this calendar.”
It was announced in November that the royal couple were expecting their first child – a baby boy – in 2016. The happy news was announced on the Twitter account of local newspaper Kuensel as part of the 60th birthday celebrations for the previous king who abdicated in favour of his son in 2006.
A tweet from the paper declared that “His Majesty The King announces that their Majesties are expecting a son”.
Though Queen Jetsun’s father is an father is an airline pilot, she does come from aristocratic blood. One of her great-grandfathers was lord of the eastern province of Tashigang, and a grandfather was the half-brother of the wife of a former King of the country.
When they met at the picnic, the future King allegedly told her: “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.”
Apparently, they did. In 2011 they wed at a 17th-century fortress in the country’s former capital of Punakha.