The Bhutan Society of the UK 

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The Bhutan Society of the United Kingdom

Welcome to the Society!

The Bhutan Society of the United Kingdom is for people who wish to develop knowledge and understanding of the Kingdom of Bhutan - and to encourage cultural and educational links between the peoples of the United Kingdom and Bhutan. It links together people who are interested in, or who have connections with, the Kingdom of Bhutan. Via a series of talks through the year, an annual dinner and a newsletter, members stay in contact with developments in Bhutan, with Bhutanese resident in the UK and with each other.
Please browse the website and read back issues of the newsletter to discover more.

Zimbiri: Solo Exhibtion

Grosvenor Gallery will be showing, for the first time in the UK, new paintings by Bhutanese artist Zimbiri (b. 1991) - the daughter of Dasho Ugyen Tshechup. The exhibition will take place during Asian Art in London's East Asian Art week from 30th October and will extend till the 20th November 2020. There will be a late-night viewing on Sunday, 1st November from 6-9pm.
Further information

Video messages to Members from two Bhutanese who have recently studied in the UK

Two recent 'alumni' have recorded messages for members:
The messages can be found here.

Interview with Gordon Temple

This interview brings some wonderful insight about Bhutan mid-20th Century. Gordon Temple (1927-2004) had a long association with Bhutan and these recordings are presented in a short (20min) interview with Christine Lees. He passed out as a Gurkha officer in Bangalore and served in the Black Watch and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. He then set up the Nepalese Tea Corporation in Kathmandu, worked for Unicef and converted to Buddhism. He was granted the rare honour of Bhutanese citizenship and also granted a traditional Bhutanese Buddhist funeral by HM The King of Bhutan.

You can download the interview here: Interview with Gordon Temple (1986) (110 MB)

Second Royal Son named

The newborn prince of Bhutan has been named Jigme Ugyen Wangchuck, the palace announced Tuesday, June 30th 2020. His Royal Highness will be referred to as Gyalsey Ugyen Wangchuck.

The royal newborn arrived in March to King Jigme, 40, and Queen Jetsun Pema, 29, also known as the Dragon King and Dragon Queen. As is custom in Bhutan, his name was not revealed until after a special Buddhist naming ceremony.

Gyalsey joins big brother, 4-year-old Prince Jigme Namgyel, who is also known as the Dragon Prince as heir to the throne.

Michael Rutland on BBC Radio 4, The World Tonight

Our vice president, Michael Rutland, was on BBC Radio 4, The World Tonight, on 5 June 2020, speaking about Bhutan's management of Covid-19. You can listen to and download the broadcast here (Michael speaks from 31:40).

Spring Blooms in Dorset

Society member Michael Blooman has shared photographs of rhododendrons and other trees on his property. These were taken at the end of April and beginning of May exactly when he was hoping to host a visit by other Society members. His garden has an inspiring backdrop of a pinetum planted in the 1850s now managed by The Woodland Trust with Cedrus atlantica and Sequoia giganteum alleged to be the tallest tree in the country at 159 feet. His extensive collection includes the huge white flowers of R. griffithianum, the vermilion R. thomsonii and the pale orange of R. cinnarbarinum - all found in Bhutan - as well as the yellow of R. sinofalconeri of Vietnam. To enjoy these photos click here.

COVID-19 Protection Measures

The Society is monitoring the UK Government's guidance on the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The latest advice is at

Those planning to travel to Bhutan are advised to contact their travel agents, as entry restrictions apply. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's travel advice is at

Upcoming Bhutan Society Events

The Government's restrictions on movement and gatherings have required the postponement of some events. The Society will review opportunities to reschedule the third Annual Film Evening and the AGM and also look to arrange other events, as restrictions are varied.

Other Events & Notices

Cine from Bhutan

A selection of fascinating Cine videos of Bhutan from the 1940s, taken by Dr Harry Staunton, have recently been added to the Articles section along with a commentary about Dr Staunton's life and the provenance of the Films. The Society thanks Mrs Diana Hughes for making these videos available to us.

Watercolours for sale

Michael Blooman - Bhutan Society member, artist, explorer and plantsman - has generously offered to sell some of his paintings from Bhutan in aid of the Bhutan Society Trust Fund. Please click here to view the images and for contact details.

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