Lost Kingdoms – Kingdom of Nepal

By Orange Tuesday - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

After several decades of rivalry between several Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Nepal was unified in the late 18th century under Prithvi Narayan Shah, the ruler of the principality of Gorkha. He had several wives, Indra Kumari Devi, Narendra Rajya Lakshmi Devi, Icchavati Devi and Dayavati Devi. Not much is known about them. The mother of his successor was Narendra Rajya Lakshmi Devi, and she committed sati (a funeral custom where a widow immolates herself on her husband’s pyre or takes her own life some other way shortly after her husband’s death) in 1777, two years after her husband’s death.

Their son was Pratap Singh Shah, who was King for just three years before dying at the age of 26. He had at least three wives, Rajendra Rajya Lakshmi Devi, Maiju Rani Maneshvari Devi and Rani Bhitryani Devi. He was succeeded by his two-year-old son Rana Bahadur Shah by Rajendra Rajya Lakshmi Devi. His mother acted as regent for eight years. He too was married to at least four women, Raj Rajeshwari Devi, Subarna Prabha Devi, Kantavati Devi and Lalit Tripura Sundari Devi.

Rana Bahadur Shah abdicated in 1799 to ensure the succession of his second son, now King Girvan Yuddha Bikram Shah. He attempted to assert his royal authority not much later, which led to a direct conflict with several courtiers. The former King was exiled where he continued to conspire. Upon his return to Nepal, he was beheaded by his stepbrother. King Girvan’s life was short, but he did marry three wives, Sidhi Lakshmi Devi Shah, Gorakshya Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah and Kritirekha. He died at the age of 19 and was succeeded by his young son, Rajendra Bikram Shah.

King Rajendra married two times, to Samrajya Lakshmi Devi and Rajya Lakshmi Devi. He was seen as a weak ruler, and Queen Samrajya was the de facto monarch. Queen Rajya Lakshmi took over after Samrajya’s death. Fighting among several nobles led to the Kot massacre in 1846, where about 40 members of the Nepalese palace court were executed. After the Kot massacre, Janga Bahadur Kunwar came to power as the first of the Rana dynasty. Rajendra was captured and forced to abdicate the throne in favour of his son, now King Surendra. He did not have much power and was instead ruled by Janga Bahadur Kunwar.

He married three times, to Sura Rajya Lakshmi Devi, Trailokya Rajya Lakshmi Devi and Deva Rajya Lakshmi Devi. His son, Trailokya, Crown Prince of Nepal predeceased him, and upon his death in 1881, he was succeeded by his grandson, now King King Prithvi. Prithvi married four times, to Raman Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah, Divyeshwari Lakshmi Devi Shah, Kirti Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah and Durga Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah. His first son was not born until 1903, and he had made his eldest daughter Crown Princess. She lost that position upon the birth of her younger brother, who became King Tribhuvan upon their father’s death in 1911.

King Tribhuvan married two sisters in a double ceremony, and he also had several junior wives. He had three sons and 13 daughters. Upon his death in 1955, he was succeeded by his eldest son, now King Mahendra. He married Indra Rajya Lakshmi Devi in 1940, and they had three sons and three daughters together before her death in 1950 from complications from childbirth. He remarried to her younger sister Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Devi in 1952, but they had no children.

King Mahendra and Queen Ratna in 1957 (public domain)

Upon his death in 1972, he was succeeded by his eldest son, now King Birendra. He married Aishwarya Rajya Lakshmi Devi in 1970, and they had three children together. His eldest son Dipendra massacred the entire family in 2001. The only survivors were the King’s younger brother Gyanendra and Dipendra himself. Dipendra survived his self-inflicted gunshot wounds but died three days after the massacre. Gyanendra was proclaimed King on 4 June 2001.

Gyanendra had married his second cousin Komal Rajya Lakhsmi Devi in 1970, and they had two children together. In 2008, the monarchy was abolished, and Nepal became the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Queen Komal was thus the last Queen of Nepal.

About Moniek Bloks 2734 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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