Former King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev
Born on 7 July, 1947, King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was made the King of Nepal twice in his lifetime. Now, the deposed King of Nepal, King Gyanendra had ascended the throne once between 1950 and 1951 as a child when his grandfather King Tribhuvan was forced into exile to India with the rest of his family and next, since 2001 to 2008 after the Nepalese Royal Massacre. He was born as the second song of King Mahendra and as the astrologer told him not to look at the newborn because it would bring bad luck, the newborn prince was sent to live with his grandmother.
He studied in St Joseph’s College in Darjeeling, India and graduated from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu in 1969. He served as the chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Coronation of his brother King Birendra in 1975 and is a keen conservationist who has served as Chairman of the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (later known as National Trust for Nature Conservation) since 1982 to 2001 (until he ascended the throne). He got married to Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah on 1 May, 1970 and have two children former Crown Prince Paras Bir Bikram Shah Dev and former Princess Prerana Rajya Laxmi Devi Singh.
During his second reign, remarkable constitutional turmoil had occurred in the country. The elections to form a representative government were constantly interfered by the growing insurgency of the Nepalese Civil War and after several delays in elections, the King suspended the constitution and assumed direct authority in February 2005 assuring it to be a temporary situation to suppress the Maoist insurgency. He restored the previous parliament in April 2006 and his reign ended about two years later when Nepal was declared as an interim republic by Nepalese Constituent Assembly that stripped the King of all titles and duties. Nepal’s transitional government nationalized all the properties of former King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev inherited from his brother including the Narayanhity Royal Palace, however the properties he owned before ascending the throne was not affected.
The titles and honors that he has received include High Royal Highness Prince Gyanendra of Nepal (1947-1950, 1951-2001), High Majesty The King of Nepal (1950-1951, 2001-2008)/Shree Paanch Maharajadhiraj Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (1950-1951, 2001-2008), Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange (The Netherlands) – 1967, Knight Grand Cordon of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant (Thailand) – 1979, Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit (France) – 1983, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (United Kingdom) – 1986 and Grand Cross of Order of Isabella Catholic (Spain) – 1987.