Gandhi, who arrived here from New Delhi on Friday, Oct 14, to attend the celebrations, mingled freely with members of the royal family, who had personally invited him to participate in the National Celebrations to mark the fairy tale wedding of King Jigme Khesar Nagyel Wangchuck with his childhood sweetheart Jetsun Pema. The ceremonial reception, during which the King and the Queen were accorded Guard of Honour by the Royal Bhutan Army, was a family-and-government affair except for the presence of Gandhi, who is a close friend of 31-year-old Oxford-educated King.
Accompanied by the present King's father Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Rahul came to the TashichhoDzong, the seat of the Royal Government of Bhutan, at around 7 am local time, much later than the members of the royal family who had assembled at the large monastic fortress. The 41-year-old Nehru-Gandhi family scion was introduced to Je Khenpo, the chief monk of Bhutan, and then escorted straight to the place where the members of the royal family were waiting. All shook hands with him warmly and the Amethi MP was seen chatting with them casually for over 20 minutes as they waited for the King and the Queen to arrive.