Aishwarya of Nepal
|King Birendra (left) and Queen Aishwarya (right)|
|Tenure||31 January 1972 – 1 June 2001|
|Spouse||King Birendra of Nepal|
|Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi|
|Born||7 November 1949|
|Died||1 June 2001(aged 51)|
Aishwarya Rajyalaxmi Devi Shah (7 November 1949 – 1 June 2001) was the Queen of Nepal from 1972 to 2001. She was the wife of King Birendra and the mother of Crown Prince Dipendra, Prince Nirajan, and Princess Shruti.
She hailed from the aristrocratic Rana family which had ruled Nepal for 104 years, being the oldest daughter of General Kendra Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana (1927–1982) and his wife Shree Rajya Laxmi Rana (1928–2005). Her family had been the effective rulers of Nepal until the 1950s and she was ever conscious of this fact. In 1970, she married Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, then Crown Prince of Nepal. She was considered to be staunchly royalist, believing in the absolute power of the monarchy, while her husband was more open to democratic governance.
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 Queen's murder was her strong opposition to the Crown Prince's proposed marriage to Devyani Rana. Her face was so badly disfigured by the gunshot wound that, for the widely attended state funeral procession, it was covered by a china doll bearing her likeness.
- 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
|Queen Consort of Nepal