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Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah (Nepali: ऐश्वर्या राज्य लक्ष्मी देवी शाह) (7 November 1949 – 1 June 2001) was the Queen of Nepal from 1972 to 2001, also referred as Bada Maharani. She was the wife and the second cousin of King Birendra and the mother of Crown Prince Dipendra, Prince Nirajan, and Princess Shruti. She was the eldest among the three daughters of late General Kendra Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana and Shree Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah in Lazimpat Durbar, Lazimpat, Kathmandu.[1]

Queen Aishwarya
Aishwarya 1972.jpg
Queen Aishwarya in 1972
Queen consort of Nepal
Tenure31 January 1972 – 1 June 2001
Coronation24 February 1975
PredecessorQueen Ratna
Born(1949-11-07)7 November 1949
Lazimpat Durbar, Kathmandu, Kingdom of Nepal
Died1 June 2001(2001-06-01) (aged 51)
Narayanhity Royal Palace, Kathmandu, Kingdom of Nepal
SpouseKing Birendra of Nepal
(m. 1969 - 2001; their deaths)
IssueKing Dipendra
Princess Shruti
Prince Nirajan
Full name
Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah
HouseRana; by birth
Shah; by marriage
FatherGeneral Kendra Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana
MotherShree Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah
ReligionHinduism

She was celebrated as a woman of classical beauty. Her ways of dressing and hairstyles are still famous .

EducationEdit

She had her school education in St Helen's Convent of Kurseong, India and St Mary's of Jawalakhel. She passed S.L.C. from Kanti Ishwari Rajya Laxmi High School in 1963. She was enrolled in the Tribhuvan University-affiliated school, Padmakanya College and graduated in Arts in 1967.

Family backgroundEdit

She was from the Rana family which had ruled Nepal for 104 years. She was the eldest daughter of General Kendra Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana (1921–1982) and his wife Shree Rajya Laxmi Shah (1926–2005). She had two brothers ( Suraj Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana; Udaya Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana) and two sisters ( Queen Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah; Princess Prekshya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah). [2] After her death, her younger sister became Queen consort of Nepal. Her family had been the effective rulers of Nepal until the 1950s. In 1969, she married Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, then Crown Prince of Nepal (and her second cousin).

 
Crown Princess Aishwarya in 1970 AD

Aishwarya's youngest sister Prekshya also married into the Shah dynasty marrying Gyanendra and Birendra's brother Prince Dhirendra who was killed in the palace massacre. They divorced in the 1980s.[3] Princess Prekshya was killed in a helicopter crash on 12 November 2001.

Queen of NepalEdit

After King Mahendra died in 1972, Birendra became the King and Aishwarya became the Queen consort.

Queen Aishwarya was energetic, outspoken and a smart woman having beauty with brains. [4] She arranged different social and cultural programmes.

Queen Aishwarya supported her husband in every steps of her life though difficulties came across them. She was a far sighted women who could understand the need of the country and its people.

The country people took her support for her husband as a dominant nature, but with the passage of time, Queen Aishwarya's dominance over her husband reportedly mellowed down and she was seen as a caring companion for her husband, whose popularity increased with time.[5]

Literary worksEdit

She was interested in literature under the pen-name Chadani Shah, wrote dozens of poems which have been collected under the title Aphnai Akash Aphnai Paribesh. The anthology is prefaced with criticisms about Chadani Shah's writing by veteran critics of Nepalese Literature. She was also a famous song composer and her songs were frequently aired by Radio Nepal and Nepal Television.

DeathEdit

Queen Aishwarya was shot dead along with her husband, King Birendra; her son, Prince Nirajan; her daughter, Princess Shruti; and seven other royal family members. It is widely believed that the motive for the murder was the strong opposition to the Crown Prince's proposed marriage to Devyani Rana. Queen Aishwarya's face was so badly disfigured by the gunshot wound that, for the widely attended state funeral procession, it was covered by a porcelain mask bearing her likeness.[6]

HonoursEdit

NationalEdit

ForeignEdit

AncestryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Lamb8". www.royalark.net. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Nepal11". www.royalark.net. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  3. ^ "RootsWeb.com Home Page". freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  4. ^ "King Birendra of Nepal". 3 June 2001. Retrieved 21 April 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  5. ^ "Aishwarya: Nepal's forceful queen". 5 June 2001. Retrieved 21 April 2018 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  6. ^ Amy Willesee & Mark Whittaker (2004). Love & Death in Kathmandu A Strange Tale of Royal Murder, 1st U.S. ed. New York : St. Martin's Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84413-558-6 / 1-84413-558-6
  7. ^ http://www.cyranos.ch/zzshah.jpg
  8. ^ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6c/87/72/6c8772247750f50378b302d4c5c34f5d.jpg
  9. ^ http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/153971e4c1e3430d9fc5dbaca4ac92db/nepals-king-birendra-2nd-r-and-queen-aishwarya-r-decorate-crown-prince-gywwpm.jpg
  10. ^ a b blogspot.com, Queen Aishwariya wesring the two royal stars
  11. ^ http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/queen-elizabeth-ii-wearing-a-diamond-and-pearl-tiara-and-the-jubilee-picture-id509761460
  12. ^ http://c7.alamy.com/comp/BTNK7X/-BTNK7X.jpg
  13. ^ http://www.sardaonline.com/images/CSR-Activities.jpg
  14. ^ "Bilateral relations". La France au Népal. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  16. ^ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/65/35/92/653592ba21a54229ca8c1189fb861d38.jpg
  17. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  18. ^ http://c7.alamy.com/comp/E10THF/feb-02-1974-president-tito-visits-nepal-president-tito-and-his-wife-E10THF.jpg

External linksEdit

Royal titles
Preceded by
Ratna
Queen consort of Nepal
1972–2001
Succeeded by
Komal