Sarala Manandhar, ‘grandmother’ of Nepal’s former king Gyanendra Shah breathed her last in Kathmandu on Sunday. She was 91.
A mistress of Gyanendra’s grandfather King Tribhuwan Shah, Manandhar was suffering from diabetes. Her last rites were performed on Sunday at Pashupatinath Temple compound.
Manandhar was living inside the Narayanhiti Palace—that had been turned into a museum after monarchy was abolished, along with the queen mother Ratna Rajya Laxmi Shah (Gyanendra’s stepmother).
Monarchy in Nepal was abolished in May 2008 and former king Gyanendra and his family stepped out of Narayanhiti Palace on June 13, but the two old ladies were allowed by the government to stay inside the palace compound.
While Gyanendra’s stepmother was allowed to stay at Mahendra Manzil, Sarala stayed at Tribhuwan Sadan—two buildings within the compound of the sprawling Narayanhiti Palace.
Both the buildings were separated by walls from the main palace, which was transformed into a museum and the old royals were provided with security and staff at the government’s expense.
Although the other members of the former royal family could meet the two women whenever they desired, they were not allowed the main gate of the palace and had to use a separate entrance.