As a school student, Jetsun Pema wanted to become an architect. But fate had other things in store for her.
Come October, the 21-year-old granddaughter of the legendary Sey Dophola, will become the Queen of Bhutan, and share her life with the architect of this nation’s dreams, His Majesty Jigme Khesar.
Born on June 4, 1990 at Thimphu Hospital, Jetsun Pema is the second eldest child of the five children born to Sonam Choki and Dhondup Gyaltshen. The royal bride has four siblings; Thinley Norbu (19), Jigme Namgyal (16), Serchen Doma (14) and an elder sister Yeatso Lhamo (25).
She started her schooling in Bhutan at Little Dragon Montessori School, in Thimphu then went on to Sunshine School where she completed her elementary education. Before finishing middle school in Lungtenzampa Higher Secondary School, she studied at Changangkha Secondary School and St. Josephs Convent in Kalimpong.
Her High school years were spent at Lawrence School, Sanawar, where she developed a keen interest in arts and pursued her studies at Regents College, UK. Jetsun Pema is majoring in International Relations (IR) as well as a minor in Psychology along with a minor in Art History.
Jetsun Pema’s father, Dhondup Gyaltshen is the son of Brigader Ugen Dorji Tangbi from Tangsibji, Trongsa and Aum Karma Yangzom who is the daughter of Tashigang Dzongpon Thinley Topgay who was popularly known as ‘Sey Dophola’.
Dhondup Gyaltshen was a pilot for 22 years with DrukAir and is now flying for Bahrain Airways. He is a North Point school graduate who later graduated from Sherubtse College, Kanglung where he met his wife, Aum Sonam Choki.
Aum Sonam Chuki is the daughter of Dasho Thinley Namgyal from Pangtoe Goemba, Bumthang and Aum Rinchen from Chorten Nyinpo-Chumbi at Chumey, Bumthang. She is the god daughter of His Royal Highness Prince Namgyel Wangchuck and her father is the half brother of their late majesties, Mayum Phuntsho Choden and Mayum Pema Dechan.
While in Class IX and X at Lungtenzampa school, Jetsun Pema captained the school basketball team where she was a keen player and still participates in tournaments in Thimphu.
A frequent visitor at art museums in London, she appreciates modern and renaissance art.
She also has a keen interest in photography like his Majesty the King. Fond of traditional music and she loves listening to Namgay Jigs.
Growing up with four siblings, she has a natural gift to bond with children.
The wedding would take place in Punakha first and then there would be official visits to other parts of the country. She is already accompanying His Majesty on royal tours around the country.
She is expected to dress in the colors that suit her kham (birth element).