Deposed Nepal king departs

From the Associated Press

Nepal’s deposed king left this city’s main palace Wednesday night to begin life as a civilian in the newly declared republic.

Former King Gyanendra said he handed in his royal scepter and crown of peacock feathers, yak hair and jewels to the Nepalese government as he left his home in the capital for one of his former summer palaces on a forested hill on its outskirts.

There he will be protected by police but will otherwise live as any other Nepalese does -- albeit an incredibly wealthy one who some believe should still reign.


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 half a century ago.

Few Nepalese knew of the mysterious woman’s existence until authorities announced Wednesday that she would be allowed to continue living in the palace. The youngest mistress of King Tribhuvan, who ruled 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 construction -- will be turned into a museum.

The former king passed through the palace gates in an armored black Mercedes-Benz about 8:45 p.m., followed by a police and army escort. A few loyalist onlookers shouted at Gyanendra to stay on the throne, but most of the several hundred people gathered were happy to see him go.

“I have no intention or thoughts to leave the country,” Gyanendra said hours before departing. “I will stay in the country to help establish peace.”