Princess Shruti Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah was the daughter of the Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Shah. She was born on Asoj 29, 2033 BS (15 October 1976) at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. She was the only daughter of King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya. She had two siblings Prince Dipendra and Prince Nirajan.
Shruti Shah did her primary schooling at Kanti Ishwari Sishu Vidhyalaya in Tripureswar and junior-level at St. Mary’s School, both in Kathmandu. During her school days, she was an active member of the Scout along with her baby brother Nirajan. Later she went to Mayo College Girls School in Ajmer, India for her Intermediate studies for two years and cam back to Nepal for her Bachelor’s degree at Padma Kanya Campus in Nepal.
Princess Shruti married Kumar Gorakh Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana on 8 May 1997, the grandson of Chandra Shumsher Rana who was the last Rana Prime Minister. She had two daughters Girvani and Surangana Rana. The elder daughter Grivani Rana was born on 22 January 1998 and the younger daughter Surangana was born on 2 October 2002.
Princess Shruti keenly participated in various social activities and was graced with many National and International Awards,
- National Honours Member First Class of the Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu (29 December 1995 AD)
- Commemorative Silver Jubilee Medal of King Birendra (31 January 1997 AD)
- Bisista Sewa Padak (1999)
- Foreign Honours France: Grand Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honour (9 September 1994 AD)
- Germany: Dame Grand Cross Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (25 November 1996 AD)
King Birendra used to host a monthly family gathering every third Friday of the month at the Tribhuwan Sadan banquet hall of the Narayanhiti Palace in Kathmandu. So as usual Princess Shruti with her husband arrived at the family gatherings on Jestha 19, 2058 BS (1 June 2001), too. More than twenty immediate Shah members had gathered at the Tribhuvan Sadan wing for the dinner on that tragic day.
Princess Shruti along with her father Birendra, mother Aishwarya, brother and Nirajan, brother Dipendra was shot dead in one of the world’s greatest tragedies, The Royal Massacre. Royal Prince Dipendra, the elder brother of Shruti allegedly orchestrated the massacre and himself in the head with a 9mm pistol.
The following family members lost lives in the unlikely incident
- King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah (56 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:15 died
- Queen Aishwarya Bir Bikram Shah (52 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:15 pm
- Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah (30 years) 22 Jestha 2058 BS at morning 3:45
- Prince Nirajan Bir Bikram Shah (23 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:24 pm
- Princess Shruti Bir Bikram Shah (25 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:55 pm
- Prince Dhirendra Bir Bikram Shah (51 years), 22 Jestha 2058 BS at 5:57 pm
- Princess Shanti (60 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:35 pm
- Princess Sharada (58 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:30 pm
- Kumar Khadka (58 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:35 pm
- Princess Jayanti (55 years) 19 Jestha 2058 BS at 9:30 pm
The following were wounded
- Princess Shova Shahi
- Kumar Gorakh Shamsher JBR
- Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah
- Ketaki Chester
- Paras Bir Bikram Shah
Dipendra, still in a coma was proclaimed de jure King of Nepal upon his father Birendra’s death. He died at the Army hospital at the Chhauni Military Hospital without gaining consciousness 3 days later.
Tribhuvan Sadan, a wing northwest of Narayanhiti Palace, the venue of the massacre was the private residence of Prince Dipendra was razed to the ground in 2005 and reconstructed in 2016.
The funeral for the royal family was held on Sunday 2 days i,e Jestha 21, 2058 BS (3 June 2001) after the Royal Massacre aka “Durbar Hatyakanda”. Hundreds of thousands of people poured onto the streets to bid a final farewell to the deceased. Their bodies were cremated at the royal funeral grounds of Pashupatinath Temple, following Hindu tradition.
On 4 June (Jestha 22), after Dipendra died, the government imposed a curfew on the entire country. His body was transferred on a truck and not on a decorated vehicle to the Pashupatinath Temple. He was cremated without any royal farewell, without witnesses or family members under a nationwide curfew. 13 day mourning period was declared and senior civil servants were ordered to shave their heads and eat saltless for three days as a sign of respect for the deceased.
Thousands of men queued at barbers in the capital to have their heads shaved to mourn their beloved royal family.
All photos from Social medias