|King of Bhutan|
|Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck|
since 9 December 2006
|5th Dragon King|
|Heir presumptive||Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck|
|First monarch||Ugyen Wangchuck|
|Formation||17 December 1907|
|Residence||Samteling Palace, Thimpu|
Bhutan was founded and unified as a country by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche in the mid–17th century. After his death in 1651, Bhutan nominally followed his recommended "dual system of government". Under the dual system, government control was split between a secular leader, the Druk Desi (འབྲུག་སྡེ་སྲིད་, aka Deb Raja);[nb 1] and a religious leader, the Je Khenpo (རྗེ་མཁན་པོ་).
Both the Druk Desi and Je Khenpo were under the nominal authority of the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, a reincarnation of Ngawang Namgyal. In practice however, the Zhabdrung was often a child under the control of the Druk Desi, and regional penlops often administered their districts in defiance of the power of the Druk Desis until the rise of the unified House of Wangchuck in 1907.
Since the rise of the unified House of Wangchuck in 1907, the Druk Gyalpo (འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་པོ་; lit. "Dragon King") have been the head of state of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Main article: Druk Desi
Below appears the list of Druk Desis throughout the existence of the office. Officeholders were initially appointed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, though after his death the Je Khenpo and civil government decided appointments.
Italics indicate coregencies and caretaker governments, which are not traditionally separately numbered.
|No.||Name||Date of Birth||Reign start||Reign end||Date of Death|
|2||Langonpa Tenzin Drukdra||1655||1667||1667|
|3||Chhogyel Minjur Tempa||1667||1680||1691|
|4||Gyalsey Tenzin Rabgye||1638||1680||1694||1696|
|15||Wangzob Druk Tenzin I||1765||1768|
|16||Sonam Lhundub[table 1]||1768||1773||1773|
|21||Chhogyel Sonam Gyaltshen (Tashi Namgyel)||1792||1799|
|23||Chhogyel Sonam Gyaltshen (Tashi Namgyel)
|27||Tulku Tsulthrim Daba||1790||1809||1810||1820|
|28||Zhabdrung Thutul (Jigme Dragpa)||1810||1811|
|29||Chholay Yeshey Gyaltshen||1781||1811||1815||1830|
|30||Tshaphu Dorji Namgyel||1815||1815|
|32||Gongzim Tenzin Drukda||1819||1823|
|39||Zhabdrung Thutul (Jigme Norbu)
|41||Jamtul Jamyang Tenzin||1854||1856|
|43||Phuntsho Namgyel (Nazi Pasang)||1860||1863|
|49||Kitshab Dorji Namgyel||1873||1879|
|Kitsep Dorji Namgyel
|50||Chhogyel Zangpo||March 1879||June 1880||1880|
|June 1880||July 1881|
|51||Lam Tshewang||1836||July 1881||May 1883||1883|
|52||Gawa Zangpo||May 1883||August 1885|
|54||Choley Yeshe Ngodub||1851||1903||1905||1917|
The Bhutanese monarchy was established on 17 December 1907, unifying the country under the control of the Wangchuck family, hereditary penlops (governors) of Trongsa district. The king of Bhutan, formally known as the Druk Gyalpo ("Dragon King"), also occupies the office of Druk Desi under the dual system of government. Since the enactment of the Constitution of 2008, the Druk Gyalpo has remained head of state, while the Prime Minister of Bhutan acts as executive and head of government in a parliamentary democracy.
|Name||Lifespan||Reign start||Reign end||Notes||Family||Image|
|Ugyen||11 June 1862 – 26 August 1926 (aged 64)||17 December 1907||26 August 1926||Wangchuck|
|Jigme||1905 – 30 March 1952|
|26 August 1926||30 March 1952||Son of Ugyen||Wangchuck|
|Jigme Dorji||2 May 1929 – 21 July 1972 (aged 43)||30 March 1952||21 July 1972||Son of Jigme||Wangchuck|
|Jigme Singye||11 November 1955||21 July 1972||14 December 2006|
|Son of Jigme Dorji||Wangchuck|
|Jigme Khesar Namgyel||21 February 1980||14 December 2006||Incumbent||Son of Jigme Singye||Wangchuck|