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The King of Nepal (traditionally known as the Mahārājādhirāja i.e. King of Kings; it can also be translated as "Sovereign Emperor" (Nepali: श्री ५ महाराजधिराज)) was Nepal's head of state and monarch from 1768 to 2008. He served as the head of the Nepalese monarchy—Shah Dynasty. The monarchy was abolished on 28 May 2008 by the 1st Constituent Assembly.[1] The subnational monarchies in Mustang, Bajhang, Salyan, and Jajarkot were also abolished in October.[2]

Mahārājdhirāja of Nepal
Coat of arms of Nepal (1962–2008).svg
Royal Coat of arms (before 2006)
StyleHis Royal Majesty
First monarchMahārājdhirāja Prithvi Narayan Shah
Last monarchMahārājdhirāja Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah
FormationSeptember 25, 1768
AbolitionMay 28, 2008
ResidenceNarayanhity Palace, Kathmandu, Nepal
Pretender(s)Mahārājdhirāja Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah


The Kingdom of Nepal was founded on 25 September 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king who succeeded in unifying the kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur into a single state under his Shah dynasty. The Kingdom of Nepal was de jure an absolute monarchy for most of its history. However, from 1846 until the Revolution of 1951, the country was de facto ruled by the hereditary Prime Ministers from the Rana dynasty, reducing the role of the Shah monarch to that of a figurehead. In November 1990, after the Jana Andolan movement, the new Constitution was adopted and the country became a constitutional monarchy.

On 13 February 1996, the Nepalese Civil War was launched by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), with the aim of overthrowing the kingdom and establishing a "People's Republic". On 1 February 2005, as the security situation deteriorated in the civil war, King Gyanendra declared a state of emergency, suspended the Constitution and assumed direct control over the country.[3] On 24 April 2006, after the Loktantra Andolan movement, the king agreed to give up absolute power and to reinstate the dissolved House of Representatives.[4][5] On 21 November 2006, the Civil War ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord.[6] On 15 January 2007, the King was suspended from exercising his duties by the newly formed interim legislature. Finally, on 28 May 2008, the kingdom was officially abolished by the 1st Constituent Assembly and Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal was declared.[7] The subnational monarchies in Mustang, Bajhang, Salyan, and Jajarkot were also abolished in October 2008.[8]

Nepalese royal massacreEdit

On 1 June 2001, Crown Prince Dipendra went on a shooting spree and murdered his father, King Birendra, his mother Queen Aishwarya, and several other members of the royal family. Afterwards, he shot himself.[9][10] Immediately after the massacre, Dipendra was proclaimed king while in a coma, but he died on 4 June 2001, after a three-day reign.[11] His uncle, Prince Gyanendra, was appointed regent for the three days, then ascended the throne himself after Dipendra died.

Kings of Nepal (1768–2008)Edit

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Prithvi Narayan Shah
  • बडामहाराजधिराज पृथ्वीनारायण शाह
(1723-01-07)7 January 1723[12] – 11 January 1775(1775-01-11) (aged 52)25 September 176811 January 1775Son of Nara Bhupal ShahShah 
Pratap Singh Shah
  • प्रतापसिंह शाह
(1751-04-16)16 April 1751 – 17 November 1777(1777-11-17) (aged 26)11 January 177517 November 1777Son of Prithvi Narayan ShahShah 
Rana Bahadur Shah
  • रण बहादुर शाह
(1775-05-25)25 May 1775 – 25 April 1806(1806-04-25) (aged 30)17 November 17778 March 1799
Son of Pratap Singh ShahShah 
Girvan Yuddha Bikram Shah
  • गीर्वाणयुद्ध विक्रम शाह
(1797-10-19)19 October 1797 – 20 November 1816(1816-11-20) (aged 19)8 March 179920 November 1816Son of Rana Bahadur ShahShah 
Rajendra Bikram Shah
  • राजेन्द्र बिक्रम शाह
(1813-12-03)3 December 1813 – 10 July 1881(1881-07-10) (aged 67)20 November 181612 May 1847
Son of Girvan Yuddha Bikram ShahShah 
Surendra Bikram Shah
  • सुरेन्द्र बिक्रम शाह
(1829-10-20)20 October 1829 – 17 May 1881(1881-05-17) (aged 51)12 May 184717 May 1881Son of Rajendra Bikram ShahShah 
Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah
  • पृथ्वी वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1875-08-18)18 August 1875 – 11 December 1911(1911-12-11) (aged 36)17 May 188111 December 1911Grandson of Surendra Bikram ShahShah 
Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah
(1st reign)
  • त्रिभुवन वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1906-06-30)30 June 1906 – 13 March 1955(1955-03-13) (aged 48)11 December 19117 November 1950
(went into exile)
Son of Prithvi Bir Bikram ShahShah 
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah
(1st reign)
  • ज्ञानेन्द्र वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1947-07-07) 7 July 1947 (age 72)7 November 19507 January 1951
(stepped down)
Grandson of Tribhuvan Bir Bikram ShahShah 
Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah
(2nd reign)
  • त्रिभुवन वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1906-06-30)30 June 1906 – 13 March 1955(1955-03-13) (aged 48)7 January 195113 March 1955Son of Prithvi Bir Bikram ShahShah 
Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah
  • महेन्द्र वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1920-06-11)11 June 1920 – 31 January 1972(1972-01-31) (aged 51)14 March 195531 January 1972Son of Tribhuvan Bir Bikram ShahShah 
Birendra Bir Bikram Shah
  • वीरेन्द्र वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1944-12-28)28 December 1944 – 1 June 2001(2001-06-01) (aged 56)31 January 19721 June 2001
Son of Mahendra Bir Bikram ShahShah 
Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah[13]
  • दीपेन्द्र वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1971-06-27)27 June 1971 – 4 June 2001(2001-06-04) (aged 29)1 June 20014 June 2001
(declared braindead)
Son of Birendra Bir Bikram ShahShah 
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah
(2nd reign)
  • ज्ञानेन्द्र वीर बिक्रम शाह
(1947-07-07) 7 July 1947 (age 72)4 June 200128 May 2008
Son of Mahendra Bir Bikram ShahShah 


Prithvi Narayan Shah was the first ruler of "unified" Nepal. However, prior to 1768, the modern-day Nepal consisted of various small kingdoms, among which Shah Kings continued to rule in a few of them (notably in Gorkha). So the actual history of the Shah dynasty dates much before Prithvi Narayan Shah.[14]

Royal StandardEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nepal votes to abolish monarchy
  2. ^ Abolishment of subnational monarchies
  3. ^ Staff writer (2005-02-01). "Nepal's king declares emergency". BBC News.
  4. ^ Sengupta, Somini (25 April 2006). "In a Retreat, Nepal's King Says He Will Reinstate Parliament". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Full text: King Gyanendra's speech". BBC. 24 April 2006.
  6. ^ "Peace deal ends Nepal's civil war". BBC News. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2006.
  7. ^ Nepal votes to abolish monarchy
  8. ^ Abolishment of subnational monarchies
  9. ^ Rahul Bedi; Alex Spillius (8 June 2001). "Massacre witness blames Crown Prince". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  10. ^ "Nepal survivors blame prince". BBC News. 7 June 2001. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  11. ^ "Nepal mourns slain king". BBC News. 2 June 2001. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  12. ^ Accordingly Royal Ark, he was born on 25 December 1722
  13. ^ Reigned whilst in a coma, following the royal massacre
  14. ^ "The History of Nepal". Archived from the original on 2009-08-16.