BHUTAN

BRIEF HISTORY

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, Bhutan was ruled by the dual system of administration known as chhosi, initiated by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1651. He instituted the office of the Druk Desi to look after the temporal administration of the country and the Je Khenpo to look after religious matters. This form of dual government continued until the dawn of the twentieth century. In 1907, a large gathering of nobles, officials, and governors agreed to establish a hereditary monarchy in the person of Ugyen Wangchuk, the son of the 51st Druk Desi, and perhaps the most powerful ruler in the kingdom.  He became the first Maharaja of Bhutan. His grandson altered his title to Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) and assumed the title of Majesty in 1963.
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STYLES & TITLES:
The Sovereign: Mang-pos Bhur-ba'i rgyalpo, Druk Gyalpo, i.e. King of Bhutan, with the style of His Majesty.
Wives of the Sovereign: Gyalmo, i.e. Queen with the style of Her Majesty.
Mother of the Sovereign: Gyalyum, i.e. Queen Mother with the style of Her Majesty.
Sons of the Sovereign: Gyalsay Dasho, i.e. Prince with the style of His Royal Highness.
Daughters of the Sovereign: Ashi, i.e. Prince with the style of His Royal Highness. Copyright© Christopher Buyers Copyright© Christopher Buyers
Other male members of the Royal family: Dasho, i.e. Lord.
Other female members of the Royal family: Ashi, i.e. lady.
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RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture amongst the legitimate descendants of Maharaja Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri Sir Ugyen Wangchuk.
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ORDERS AND DECORATIONS:
See link below.
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GLOSSARY:
Ashi/Saymo: lady, title born by female nobles and members of the Royal family.
Dasho: lord, title borne by male nobles and members of the Royal family.
Debi Zimpon: Chief Secretary.
Desi: Regent.
Donyer: protocol office.
Druk Desai: Deb Raja, or secular ruler.
Druk Gyalpo: Dragon King.
Druk-yul: Bhutan.
Dzong: castle, fort.
Dzong-da: Commissioner.
Dzong-pon: governor.
Gyalmo: Queen.
Gyalpo: King.
Gyalsay: Prince.
Gyaltshab: Regent.
Gyalyum: Queen Mother.
Je Khenpo: Sangha Raja, ruler.
Jong: valley. Copyright© Christopher Buyers
Kusung Mami: Royal Bodyguard.
Kutshab: representative, ambassador.
Lam-Thripa: Lama who holds the throne.
Lhengay: Minister.
Lodyo Tshogdu: Royal Advisory Council.
Lyongchhen: Prime Minister.
Magpon: Army commander.
Mahakala: the protector-God of the Wangchuk family, usually represented by a raven's head.
Mang-pos Bhur-ba'i rgyalpo: the Precious Master of Power, King of Bhutan.
Ponlop: governor.
Phodrang: palace.
Rinpoche: reincarnate Lama.
Sha-kya: noble lineage.
Thrimsung Gagpa: Royal Bhutan Police.
Thrimpon: judge.
Tshogdu: National Assembly.
Tsipon: finance officer.
Tulku: reincarnation.
Zhung Donyer: Chief of Protocol.
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SOURCES:
Michael Aris. "New light on an old clan of Bhutan: the sMyos-rabs of Bla-ma
gSong-sngags". Tibetan Studies. Proceedings of the 4th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies. pp 15-24. Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, München, 1988.
Michael Aris. The Raven Crown; The Origins of Buddhist Monarchy in Bhutan. Serindia Publications, London, 1994.
Stephen R. Bunford. Bhutan: House of Wangchuk. Unpublished manuscript.
Of Rainbows and Clouds: The Life of Yab Ugyen Dorji as told to his Daughter, Her Majesty the Queen of Bhutan, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. Serindia Publications, London, 1999.
Rinchen Dolma Taring. Daughter of Tibet. John Murray, London, 1970.
Dorji Wangdi. "A Historical Background of the Chhoetse Penlop", The Journal of Bhutan Studies. Centre for Bhutan Studies, Volume 10, Summer 2004.
25 Years A King: His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk 1974-1999. Kingdom of Bhutan, 1999.
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SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Philip Eagleton.
Hans Hägerdal, Department of Humanities, University of Växjö, Sweden.
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