Royals from around the world, including Bhutan's royal family and Prince Charles, gathered in Japan this month for the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito

By Stephanie Petit
November 01, 2019 02:09 PM
Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Bhutan Prince
Credit: Royal Family of Bhutan

Bhutan’s Dragon Prince is getting big!

Bhutan’s 3-year-old heir to the throne, Prince Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel — also known as the Dragon Prince — is spreading his cuteness around the world in a new photo released by Bhutan’s royal family.

The little prince joined royals from around the world in visiting Japan this month for the Sokui no Rei (Ceremony of Accession), as Japan’s Emperor Naruhito formally ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne. In the newly released photo, the Dragon Prince wears a set of kimono that were gifted to him by the Japanese Imperial Family during the trip.

Prince Jigme Namgyel may have gotten taller, but he still has the same cheeky smile and impressive locks from even his earliest photos.

The adorable snap was released on Nov. 1, which is Bhutan’s Coronation Day, and is also featured in the country’s November calendar.

The Dragon Prince in 2017
| Credit: Royal Office for Media, Bhutan

Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony attracted the ultimate royal guest list. Britain’s Prince Charles, Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia and Monaco’s Prince Albert were among the world leaders and dignitaries representing over 170 nations in attendance. The Dragon Prince’s parents, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan, also attended the festivities.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan
| Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images
Prince Charles
Prince Charles
| Credit: STR/Japan Pool via Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images

The King and Queen of Bhutan have been nicknamed the “Will and Kate of the Himalayas,” and gave birth to their first child a few months before Prince William and Kate Middleton paid them a visit in Bhutan in 2016.

As William and Kate are near the ages of the Bhutan royals – who studied in England before taking the throne – their meeting offered the chance to forge new connections between the nations.

Bhutan Royals
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Queen Jetsun Pem, Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2016

The Dragon Prince’s name was revealed a few months after his birth. As is custom in Bhutan, his name was not revealed until after a special Buddhist naming ceremony.

“When the time comes for Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck to serve his country, he must always place the concerns of his country above all else and serve his people justly with great love and dedication,” King Jigme said at a public ceremony. “It will be his sacred responsibility to build a harmonious and just society, and thereby, fulfill all the aspirations of his people. He must live such a life as a good human being and serve his country in a manner that it will be exemplary and worthy of emulation.”