It’s perhaps one of the most dramatic royal events to ever happen in our lifetimes, but it doesn’t involve the British monarchy.
On a summer’s night in Nepal in 2001, a drunk Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah ambushed a royal family gathering, opening fire and killing nine people — including his father, the King — before later turning the gun on himself.
In a single night, Nepal’s royal family was almost entirely wiped out. Their killer lay in a hospital bed in a coma, having been proclaimed King the moment his father died.
The massacre reportedly followed an argument between Dipendra and his parents, who objected to his plans to marry local aristocrat Devyani Rana.
It is believed Dipendra was threatened with being disinherited if he continued with the match and this may have been what drove him to murder on June 1, 2001.
Other experts have suggested the King’s decision to move towards a constitutional monarchy after an uprising in the 1990s had angered his son, who felt he was giving too much power away and worried about inheriting a diminished role.
While we may never know his real intentions, Dipendra wasn’t a ruler for long. Hours after the massacre, he was declared brain dead and his uncle Gyanendra became Nepal’s third King in three days.
The events shocked the nation, prompting a grieving public to take to the streets and riot for several days.
Many were incredulous that the popular prince could be responsible for such violence.
It kicked off a…