Siblings in Arms: Nepali Royal Family

May 4, 2022


King Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah, Princess Shruti Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, and Price Nirajan Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal (from bottom to top) during their teenage years. All three of them were brutally murdered in Nepal’s Royal Massacre occurred on the 1st June 2001 at the Narayanhiti Palace, Kathmandu, the then-residence of the Nepalese monarchy.

Ten members of the Nepal Royal family, including King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, were killed in a mass shooting during a gathering of the royal family at the palace.

Dipendra was declared king of Nepal while comatose after the death of King Birendra. He died in hospital three days after the massacre without regaining consciousness. Birendra’s brother Gyanendra Shah then became king.

Much controversy surrounds the circumstances of the massacre, and even today, with the abolition of the monarchy following the 2006 revolution, many questions remain unresolved. Questions like the apparent lack of security at the event; the absence of Prince Gyanendra, Dipendra’s uncle who succeeded him; Dipendra’s self-inflicted head-wound located at his left temple, despite being right-handed; the duration of the subsequent investigation, which only lasted for two weeks and did not involve any major forensic analysis, despite an offer by Scotland Yard to carry one out, remain unresolved