In a Royal Edict issued on 9th December 2006, His Majesty the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck said: “I am confident that a bright future lies ahead for Bhutan with the leadership of a new King and a democratic system of government that is best suited for our country as enshrined under the constitution. I have every confidence that there will be unprecedented progress and prosperity for our nation in the reign of our fifth king.”
Later the same month on Bhutan’s National Day, 17 December 2006, the young king walked across Changlimithang Stadium to speak and reach out to his people, embodying the brave new spirit of the kingdom.
His Majesty the King’s National Day Address to the nation:
Addressing the nation on the auspicious occasion of the National Day of Bhutan, I find myself at a loss for words. For 34 years, His Majesty the King has been the heart and essence of the nation, her King and guardian, our parent and inspiration.
The immense achievements of His Majesty including the legacy of a sound democratic constitutional monarchy are milestones not only in the history of our small kingdom, but of the world.
I believe this momentous occasion is a time for reflection. For deep in our hearts as Bhutanese citizens, we will be able to see beyond the pain of His Majesty’s selfless act, and find that this special nation built by His Majesty, is left to none other than the people of Bhutan. Such devolution is a source of great optimism for our future. For I share His Majesty’s complete faith in the people and I believe that we will, as His Majesty has bestowed today, leave to our own children such a gift in 30 years.
To our parents, elders and many generations of Bhutanese I offer my deep gratitude for your loyalty to His Majesty the King, my father.
To our youth, I say, that as the leaders of the future you will find in His Majesty’s reign the inspiration, motivation and example for our own road ahead.
Henceforth, our responsibilities will always be first and foremost, the peace and tranquility of the nation; the sovereignty and security of our country; the fulfilling of the vision of Gross National Happiness and; the strengthening of this new system of democracy.
To fulfill these aspirations, in this age, we must first build a strong and dynamic economy. And in doing so we must remember that as a landlocked nation with a small population, it is vital that whatever we do, we work harder and do it better than other nations. For our small kingdom, excellence must be the only standard.
I pray for the continued peace and prosperity of this nation of ours – blessed by Guru Padmasambhava and our Guardian Deities and founded on the vision and legacy of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.