Royals William and Kate have arrived in
Bhutan for a
two-day visit to meet the
country's king and queen after
their trip to India.
Bhutan is known for measuring quality of life by
Gross National Happiness rather than economic growth and for
choosing to be isolated to protect its culture.
A term coined by
Bhutan's former king in 1972, which defines progress as well-being in such as culture and health as well as material well being. However,
it has also been criticised.
Bhutan’s former king who coined the term
Gross National Happiness.
Bhutan's prime minister has cast doubt on GNH that this concept can be overused, and can mask the
country's problems with debt, unemployment and poverty.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, said in 2013 that GNH should not distract from tackling Bhutan’s pressing problems:
“If the government of the day were to spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about GNH rather than delivering basic services, then it is a distraction”.
Bhutan faces issues such as corruption, low standards of living and youth unemployment.
Nearly 7% of young people are unemployed and it is one of the world’s poorest nations, in terms of GDP.
The internet and television have only been allowed since 1999 and foreign tourists since 1970s.
Authorities are still careful of foreign influences to protect its culture.
They will meet the Bhutan royals in a private audience and will be hosted for dinner.
The visit involves a trip to a temple, an archery venue, and
trekking up a mountain to visit a monastery.
William’s father, Prince Charles, failed to complete the steep ascent to 10,000 feet high Tiger’s Nest monastery during a visit in 1998, opting instead to paint a watercolour of the scene.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema, celebrated the birth of
their first child 10 weeks ago.
Bhutan’s royal couple announced the birth of their first child in February, and they are expected to name him at this weekend.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and
Queen Jetsun Pema share commonalities with Royals William and Kate.
Both couples were married in 2011 and Queen Jetson Pema, 25, was a commoner until she married, like Kate.