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Hope Cooke, Queen of Sikkim

Hope Cooke was born in San Francisco, to an Irish-American father, John J. Cooke, a flight instructor, and Hope Noyes, an amateur pilot.
In 1959, Cooke was a freshman majoring in Asian Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and sharing an apartment with actress Jane Alexander. She went on a summer trip to India and met Palden Thondup Namgyal, Crown Prince of Sikkim, in the Hotel in Darjeeling, India. On March 20, 1963, Cooke married to Namgyal, who soon became the last king of Sikkim, in a Buddhist monastery in a ceremony performed by fourteen lamas. Wedding guests included members of Indian royalty, Indian and Sikkimese generals and the U.S. Ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith.
By 1973, both the country and their marriage were crumbling: Sikkim was annexed by India. Five months after the takeover of Sikkim had begun, Cooke returned to the United States.
Coronation 1965, the King & Queen
264 Media in collectionpage 1 of 3

HM the Gyalmo, HH Prince Palden, HH Princess Hope

Photograph shows Queen Hope Cooke with her children, Prince Palden and Princess Hope Leezum, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Coronation 1965, the King & Queen

Photograph shows the newly-crowned King Palden Thondup Namgyal and Queen Hope Cooke walking in procession, Gangtok, Sikkim.

King of Sikkim

Photograph shows Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, receiving white scarves as a sign of purity and an open heart on his birthday, from a Bhotia man, Gangtok, Sikkim.

King of Sikkim receives scarves, Sikkim

Photograph shows Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, receiving white scarves as a sign of purity and an open heart on his birthday, from a Lepcha man, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Sikkimese princess in ceremonial dress

Photograph shows Princess Suang La, half-length portrait, seated facing front, wearing headress and necklace, Sikkim.

Building terrace

Photograph shows man with large knife in sheath, building a rock terrace, Lachung, Sikkim.

Rinchen in Lachung Monastery - wall - allegorical painting

Photograph shows Rinchen Namgyal Lachungpa next to wall painting of an elephant, Lachung Monastery, Sikkim.

Studying the art of religious painting

Photograph shows boy drawing and copying a religious picture, Sikkim.

Nepali girls, coronation time. Tse Ten Tashi studio, photo in window, Hope's husb[and]

Photograph shows three young Nepalese women standing in front of Tse Ten Tashi's photograph studio, where a photograph of the King of Sikkim (Palden Thondup Namgyal) and Queen Hope Cooke is displayed in the win... more

Khentse Rinpoche [i.e., Jamyang Khyentse]

Photograph shows Jamyang Khyentse (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche), a young lama, seated behind a table, Sikkim.

Inside Lachung house, Rinchen's family

Photograph shows mother of the Jorbu family with child, pouring yak tea? from churn into pot, at hearth in the Jorbu home, Lachung, Sikkim.

Sikkim, Gangtok, early Buddhist scrip[t] written on palm leave[s]

Photograph shows palm leaves with Devanagari and Bengali script, on exhibit at the Namgyal Tibetology Institute, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Beautiful monastery, Sikkim

Photograph shows head lama standing in doorway of Pemayangtse monastery, Sikkim.

[Lama in meditation, Sikkim]

Buddhist monk holding prayer beads, with dog, Sikkim.

Rinchen's brother's family

Photograph shows Rinchen Namgyal Lachungpa's brother's family, eating and drinking, around a hearth, Lachung, Sikkim.

Traditional religious offering to High Lama

Photograph shows a monk carrying offering, possibly a butter sculpture.

Pipon

Photograph shows headman of village, Pipon, seated in house near hearth, with others, Lachung, Sikkim.

USA aid wheat distributed at Rumtek Monastery

Photograph shows monks with bags of wheat outside Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim.

Royal baby playing with Queen Mother during ceremony

Photograph shows Prince Palden Gyumed Namgyal with his grandmother at the coronation of his father, King Palden Thondup Namgyal, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Rinchen's wife, storeroom, yak cheese

Photograph shows Rinchen Namgyal Lachungpa's wife, in storeroom where yak cheeses hang from ceiling, Lachung, Sikkim.

Couple of North Sikkim at home drink millet beer

Photograph shows Rinchen Namgyal Lachungpa and his wife at home, Lachung, Sikkim.

Recession

Photograph shows the newly crowned King and Queen of Sikkim after the coronation ceremony, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Gangtok

Photograph shows crowd gathered in downtown Gangtok, Sikkim.

Housing for prayer wheel, turn for water power

Photograph shows wooden and stone structure with blue painted trim, built over stream, Lachung, Sikkim.

Palace Guards

Photograph shows palace guards playing drums during the coronation ceremonies for Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Chiles & eggplant on sale at Gangtok Bazaar, Sikkim

Photograph shows woman at the Gangtok Bazaar, Sikkim.

Princess of Sikkim

Photograph shows princess Hope Lezzum, half-length portrait, facing front, Sikkim.

King of Sikkim at home

Photograph shows Palden Thondrup Namgyal, Chogyal of Sikkim, half-length portrait, facing front, Gangtok, Sikkim.

Road building. Women laborers

Photograph shows a Nepalese woman road builder, seated on pile of rocks, Sikkim.

Lachung school

Photograph shows young boys reading and writing in school, Lachung, Sikkim.

Studying the art of religious painting

Photograph shows boys painting religious pictures, Sikkim.

Negotiating a deal, Jorbu

Photograph shows father of the Jorbu family with child, seated at table with another man, at the Jorbu home, Lachung, Sikkim.