Nepal's deposed king leaves palace but vows to remain in the country

By
June 12, 2008 04:13

Nepal's deposed king gave up his crown of peacock feathers, yak hair and jewels and, with the streets slicked by rain and the air filled with metaphor, left his palace forever. Former King Gyanendra's departure closed the final chapter on the world's last Hindu monarchy, but a remnant stayed behind: the 94-year-old mistress of the deposed monarch's grandfather, who died more than a half-century ago. Few Nepalis knew of the mysterious elderly woman's existence until authorities announced Wednesday that she would be allowed to continue living in the palace. The reason: the youngest mistress of King Tribhuwan, who ruled the Himalayan kingdom from 1911 until his death in 1955, has no house to move to or relatives to take her in. Little else, however, will remain of a dynasty that united Nepal and reigned for 239 years. Most of the palace - a pink, concrete 1970s monstrosity - will be turned into a museum, one that seems unlikely to celebrate the monarchy that Nepal's leaders were so eager to do away with.


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