Day 104: Gantey
Bhutan, which has only had a king since 1907, must now rank as one of the most successful monarchies in the world. The current ruler is a widely respected, modest man who prefers to live, not in his palace, but in a log cabin in the grounds.
He tours the country regularly, consulting local people and hosting big meals at which he himself serves the food.
'He's not a king who goes on European holidays,' says Benji.
He is, nevertheless, an absolute ruler. Though he himself is working on a constitution that will limit his power, King Jigme, is to all intents and purposes, free to do as he likes. Benji sees no problem with this.
'It's very important to have an absolute monarch, a guy who cares for the country, who knows where he's taking us. Left to ourselves...we'd be squabbling.'
Choose another day from Himalaya
- Series: Himalaya
- Chapter: Day 104: Gantey
- Country/sea: Bhutan
- Place: Gantey
- Book page no: 243
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