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King of Sikkim at home - Public domain portrait photograph


King of Sikkim at home - Public domain portrait photograph



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

"A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 13, 2010. Webcast available at:
Forms part of: Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs (Library of Congress).
Also represented in LOT 14034-1, pg. no. 005 (color reference copy).
Gift; Dr. Alice S. Kandell; 2010; (DLC/PP-2010:106).
Related photograph published in: Mountaintop kingdom: Sikkim / photos by Alice S. Kandell; text by Charlotte Y. Salisbury. New York: Norton, 1971, p. 205, where image appears with caption "His Majesty the King of Sikkim sits at carved table in the palace."

Palden Thondup Namgyal was the hereditary ruler of the independent Kingdom of Sikkim, located in the eastern Himalayas. He ruled the kingdom from 1963 to 1975, when it was annexed by India. Queen Hope Cooke was an American woman who became the queen consort of Sikkim through her marriage to Palden Thondup Namgyal in 1963. She was a controversial figure in Sikkimese politics.

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.





Kandell, Alice S., photographer




Library of Congress

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