Jigme Singye Wangchuck was the fourth King of Bhutan. He was born 11 November 1955 and succeeded to the throne at the age of 17, in 1972, after the sudden death of his father, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. When he was formally crowned on 2 June 1974 he was the youngest monarch in the world and the coronation was noted for inviting foreign dignitaries, thus signalling the end of the long isolation of the country. He is also called "Druk Gyalpo", meaning "Dragon King". He was educated in Bhutan and the UK.
He continued his father's policies of slow modernization while still trying to preserve Bhutanese culture. In 1988 he instituted the policy of Driglam Namzha (Etiquette and Manners) which required all citizens to wear traditional clothing while in public, and established the requirement of teaching Dzongkha (the national language) in schools. In 1998 he voluntarily reduced the scope of his absolute powers, and formally ruled with the advice of his government. In late 2003, he ordered Bhutan's first military campaign in well over a century, to oust Assamese separatists who were using Bhutanese territory to launch raids against targets in India (see History of Bhutan).
The former King is married to four Queens (all of whom are sisters) and has five sons and five daughters. Several of his children have been educated abroad.
On 17 December 2005 he announced his intention to abdicate in 2008, leaving the throne to his son. In a royal edict issued on 14 December 2006, the king relinquished office in favour of his eldest son, now King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck (born 21 February 1980) is the Dragon King of Bhutan and fifth monarch of the Wangchuck dynasty.
His title, in Bhutanese, is Mang-pos Bhur-ba'i rgyalpo, Druk Gyalpo (His Majesty the King of Bhutan).
The King is the oldest son of the former Bhutanese king Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated the throne in his son's favour, and his third wife, H.R.H. Princess (Ashi) Tshering Yangdon (born 29 December 1957).
He has a younger full sister and brother and also four half-sisters and three half-brothers by his father's other three wives (all of the former king's wives are sisters). The King is unmarried.
As Crown Prince of Bhutan, he attended Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th Anniversary Celebrations on 12 June-13 June 2006 in Bangkok along with royals from 25 countries. Known in the Thai press as Prince Jigme, the prince, at 26 the youngest of the visiting royals, caused a sensation, giving rise to a legion of female fans in Thailand. The Thai press dubbed him "Prince Charming" and ran daily stories and photos about him and tourism in Bhutan for several weeks after he had departed Thailand.
A poll run by the ABAC polling center at Assumption University listed Namgyal as the most popular of the visiting royals. However, the poll is thought by some to be making light of a solemn occasion involving the Thai monarch. Hours after the poll was released, the ABAC center's director, Nophadol Kanika, retracted its results.
Internet visitors of the Thai Internet forum Pantip.com flooded the website with postings about the crown prince. Among the posts is a photo of him with an unknown woman. Thai-language daily newspapers later featured the photo. The country's Department of Special Investigation launched a probe into the source of the image, whose publication is considered to be an invasion of privacy, and threatened to prosecute anyone who distributed it in the future.