Bhutan Royal Wedding: Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck And Jetsun Pema To Wed

10/12/2011 09:52 am ET | Updated Dec 12, 2011

THIMPHU, Bhutan — The royal wedding of the king of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to his commoner bride has begun with a procession of red-robed monks, the chants of welcome, the clanging of drums and the drone of long trumpets.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, 31, arrived at 8:20 a.m. Thursday at Bhutan's most sacred monastery fortress in the old capital of Punakha wearing the bright yellow sash of royalty. His bride, 21-year-old Jetsun Pema, followed a few minutes later, crossing a wooden footbridge over a wide, blue river beside the fort.

Once inside, the couple took part in a purification ceremony led by the nation's chief Buddhist cleric before moving to the temple for the main portion of the ceremony.

Bhutan Royal Wedding