The little step becomes a giant one

| Karma Yuden, Thimphu


The first visit of His Royal Highness (HRH), Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, to the neighboring country of India, has stormed the media and “invaded” social media sites like Facebook (FB) and Twitter. Since arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, on October 31, 2017, Bhutan’s Gyalsey was one of the most read and written chapters of the media this week.

On November 2, 2017, NDTV’s headline read: “Spotlight on Bhutan’s Little Prince on His First visit to Bhutan.” The News Channel described that amid talks about the relations between Bhutan and India and the golden jubilee celebrations of diplomatic ties between the two neighbours next year, “it is the little Prince, one-and-a-half-year-old Gyalsey, who has the spotlight on Him.”

Commenting on the meet with Indian Prime Minister (PM), Narendra Modi,, a popular site had this to say. “The Adorable Dragon Prince of Bhutan Practices His bow in India, Steals the Internet’s Heart.” Another popular site, ScoopWhoop did not differ much. “The Adorable Bhutan Prince is stealing Hearts & Even Modi is In Awe of The Li’l One…”

HRH, Gyalsey’s “cute namaste,” the pictures of which have circulated around the region and beyond, was the centre of attraction, with the media going “ga-ga” over it. “The cute namaste moment made for a great frame,” NDTV wrote, adding that when the Indian Prime Minister and His Majesty the King, sat for “a tete-a-tete, Prince Gyalsey patiently waited.” “PM Modi then wooed Him with the official football from the FIFA U-17 World Cup and a chess set, which the royal guest gladly accepted.”

RVCJ Media, another popular site had more on this “great frame.” “Twitter has gone crazy over this gesture,” it says, adding, “Modi Bends and Says Namaskaar In Front Of Little Prince of Bhutan.”

At the individual level, an Indian citizen twitted to his PM, calling Gyalsey the “cute little Prince” and” undoubtedly, the most handsome state guest by now.” Another wrote that it is time for the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to declare “His Royal Highness the Gyalsey as the World’s Cutest Prince.”

The happenings in India reverberated back home, with Bhutanese happily welcoming the magical charm of their Gyalsey and sharing thoughts about their Prince. “Our beloved Gyalsey can be called as the personification of the pure and sublime relation that Bhutan and India share,” Kinley, a civil servant based in Thimphu said. “When relations are based on foundations like love, innocence and all other virtues, which our Gyalsey represents, it would flourish and set an example to the world, just as the relation between Bhutan and India currently does,” she said, adding that the Indian people were taken over as “they saw in Gyalsey the elements of the relation, reflecting to its full glory.”

“Look at the smiles of the Indian Ministers, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman. Look at their eyes. They cannot get it off our Gyalsey,” Tshering, a private employee, marveled, as he flicked his latest smart phone, exhibiting several pictures of Gyalsey in India, that are now “stored in his phone for eternity.”

Meanwhile, all hosts of Bhutan’s Prince, ensured that they did not disappoint their Royal Guest; from External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj to Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind, everybody had their special gifts, for the special guest. Both the President and the PM said it was “an honour to be introduced to His Royal Highness the Gyalsey and to welcome His Royal Highness on his first visit to India.”

HRH, Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, accompanied Their Majesties, the King and Queen, who left the country on a four-day visit to India, at the invitation of the Indian PM, Narendra Modi. The Royal entourage arrived in New Delhi on October 31, 2017. During the visit, His Majesty granted audiences to several Indian Leaders.

Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind, extended a warm welcome to His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, and His Royal Highness The Gyalsey at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. His Majesty The King and the President expressed their happiness with the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries. His Majesty accepted the President’s invitation for a State Visit to India next year, as the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic ties.

The Indian PM, Narendra Modi also warmly received His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, and His Royal Highness The Gyalsey at his residence at Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi. In a cordial meeting held at the PM’s residence, His Majesty and the PM  exchanged views on a broad range of subjects covering bilateral friendship and cooperation, including the 50th Anniversary of formal diplomatic ties between Bhutan and India, as well as regional and international matters of mutual concern and interest. His Majesty also expressed appreciation for India’s generous support to Bhutan’s socioeconomic development. Following the meeting, the Prime Minister hosted a dinner at his residence in honour of Their Majesties.

The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, also received audiences from His Majesty.

The Royal visit of Their Majesties is in keeping with the long-standing tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries. Such visits provide an opportunity to both the sides to review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and to advance the special bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation.

Their Majesties arrived back to the country yesterday.

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