Jetsun Pema was born on June 4, 1990, in Thimphu, the capital and largest city of Bhutan. Her father, Dhondup Gyaltshen, is a commercial airline pilot, and her mother, Aum Sonam Chuki, is a descendant of one of Bhutan’s oldest noble families. Jetsun’s maternal grandfather was also the half-brother of Mayum Phuntsho Choden and Mayum Pema Dechan, sisters who were both queen consorts to Jigme Wangchuck, the second King of Bhutan. She is the second oldest child of five children, with two brothers and two sisters, and her older sister is married to the King’s brother. So, while Jetsun Pema is considered a commoner, she has many royal family connections. She quickly won over the people with her modern style.
Royal duties and causes:
Since becoming Queen of Bhutan, Jetsun Pema has traveled with her husband on official business abroad to India, Singapore, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The couple has also made a point of traveling to different cities, or throughout the countryside of Bhutan and is often seen interacting with the local people. The queen has many causes that she supports and is a strong advocate of environmental issues. She is a patron of Bhutan’s Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, which is actively involved in environmental research and the conservation of endangered species. She is a close supporter of special needs children and serves as a patron to the Ability Bhutan Society which helps improve the lives of people with disabilities.
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