Governance in Bhutan

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

  • Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (born 21 February 1980) is the 5th and current reigning Dragon King
    (Druk Gyalpo) of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
  • He became king on 14 December 2006 being crowned on 6 November 2008.

What is Dual System of Government in Bhutan?

  • Bhutan was founded and unified as a country by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in the mid–17th century.
  • After his death in 1651, Bhutan nominally followed his recommended “dual system of government”. Under the dual system, government control was split between a civil administrative leader, the Druk Desi and a religious leader, the Je Khenpo.
  • Both the Druk Desi and Je Khenpo were under the nominal authority of the Shabdrung a reincarnation of Ngawang Namgyal. In practice however, the Shabdrung was often a child under the control of the Druk Desi, and regional penlops (governors) often administered their districts in defiance of the power of the Druk Desis until the rise of the unified Wangchuck monarchy in 1907.
  • The Bhutanese monarchy was established in 1907, unifying the country under the control of the Wangchuk family, hereditary penlops (governors) of Trongsa district.
  • The king of Bhutan, formally known as the Druk Gyalpo (“Dragon King”), also occupies the office of Druk Desi under the dual system of government.
  • Since the enactment of the Constitution of 2008, the Druk Gyalpo has remained head of state, while the Prime Minister of Bhutan acts as executive and head of government in a parliamentary democracy.


Dragon-Kings of Bhutan (1907-Present)

  1. Ugyen Wangchuck (17 December 1907 – 21 August 1926)

  2. Jigme Wangchuck (21 August 1926 – 24 March 1952)
  3. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (24 March 1952 – 24 July 1972)
  4. Jigme Singye Wangchuck (24 July 1972 – 15 December 2006)
  5. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (14 December 2006 – present)

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