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Happy Birthday to Queen Komal of Nepal, who turns 70 today! The daughter of Kendra Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana and Shree Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah, she was the younger sister of Queen Aishwarya, and belonged to the powerful Rana Dynasty that effectively controlled Nepal for over a century. Educated at St Mary’s School, Jawalakhel, St Helen’s Convent, Kurseong and Kalanidhi Sangeet Mahavidhyalaya, Kathmandu, she married Prince Gyanendra, the younger brother of King Birendra who was briefly king from 1950 to 1951, in 1970, becoming the second of three sisters to marry the three royal brothers. The couple had two children, Prince Paras and Princess Prerana. Prince Gyanendra and Princess Komal carried out official duties as members of the Royal Family, and the Prince was on a foreign trip in 2001 when Crown Prince Dipendra opened fire at a family dinner, killing ten members of his family and wounding many others, including Princess Komal, who became Queen in hospital when Prince Gyanendra succeeded to the Nepalese Throne a few days later. The King’s reign was fraught with constitutional turmoil as a cause of the insurgency of the Nepalese Civil War, and the monarchy was abolished in 2008, as part of a peace deal with Maoist rebels, ending over 250 years of rule of the Shah dynasty in Nepal. The King and Queen moved out of the Narayanhiti Palace and into the Nagarjuna Palace, and they continue to have fractious relationship with the Nepalese government, while working to restore the monarchy. We wish HM a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!
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