Happy Birthday to Queen Mother Ratna of Nepal, who turns 90 today! Born into the prominent aristocratic Rana family as a younger daughter of Honorary General Hari Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana and Megha Kumari Rajya Lakshmi, her elder sister was Crown Princess Indra of Nepal, who died during the birth of her sixth child in 1950. Two years later, Ratna married her widowed brother-in-law, Crown Prince Mahendra, and became the beloved stepmother to his children. In 1955, the couple acceded the Throne of the only Hindu Kingdom in the World as King Mahendra and Queen Ratna of Nepal. As Queen, she was famous for her social work helping children in Nepal, and after becoming Queen Mother in 1972, she remained the popular Matriarch of the Royal Family during the reign of her popular stepson, King Birendra. In 2001, Queen Ratna survived the Royal Massacre by her grandson, Crown Prince Dipendra, which killed ten members of the Family, and brought another stepson, the unpopular King Gyanendra, to the Throne. King Gyanendra’s short reign was marked by chaos, but Queen Ratna remained widely respected, even after the monarchy was abolished in 2008. She was allowed to reside in Mahendra Manzil, her house in the Narayanhity Palace, though not without troubles. I wish HM a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!