KING BIRENDRA Biography - Royalty, Rulers & leaders


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Name: Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev                                                   
Born: December 28, 1945                                                             
Died: June 1, 2001                                                                   
Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (December 28, 1945 -June 1, 2001)                       
was King of Nepal from 1972 until 2001, and the son of King                         
Mahendra, whom he succeeded. He was made a British Field Marshal in 1980. He is     
the most internationally well-known Nepalese king in modern history due largely     
to his highly publicised death.                                                     
Birendra was more open to parliamentary democracy than his father, and               
granted a democratic government after a people's movement in 1990. However, the     
quarrels between various political parties and numerous social problems led to       
the Nepalese Civil War, a conflict between Maoist rebels and monarchist             
government forces, which lasted from 1996 until 2006. He is widely considered to     
be best king to ever reign in Nepal, and was seen as a symbol of National unity     
by his subjects.                                                                     
Nepal's stability was threatened even more when he and most of his family (including 
Queen Aiswarya) were massacred at a royal dinner on 1 June 2001 allegedly by         
Crown Prince Dipendra. A section of Nepalese people believed that King Gyanendra     
(Birendra's brother) was the main conspirator. However, according to                 
published reports from eyewitnesses and the results of an investigation carried     
by a two man committee made up of the Chief of the Supreme Court Keshav Prasad       
Upadhaya and the speaker of the House of Representatives Taranath Ranabhat,         
his eldest son and heir, Dipendra, was the gunman.The motive given for               
Dipendra's actions were a clash with his mother over his wish to marry Devyani       
Rana. Dipendra also had a history of alcohol and illegal drugs abuse and had         
also suffered from depression in the past.Dipendra was proclaimed king but           
died a few days later of self inflicted gunshot wounds. King Birendra's brother,     
Gyanendra, then became king.