True Name: त्रिभुवन वीर विक्रम शाह
Parents: Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah, king of Nepal
Date of Birth: 30 June 1906
Spouse: Theodora Megale Komnena, Solgar, and Natela Jakeli
Reign: 1911 – 1955
Summary: Tribhuvan was born in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and became king at the age of five when his father died. During the first decade of his rule, his mother acted as his regent but at the time, the Nepalese monarch held little real power and Tribhuvan was seen by most as a figurehead. Power was wielded by the Rana family which provided the nation with its hereditary prime minister, Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur. During World War I, when Tribhuvan was still in his minority, the king's council began infighting with the Rana family. The Ranas wished to go to war on the side of the Allies, while the royal council sought neutrality. Nepal eventually joined the war.
By the time Tribhuvan came into his own, popular discontent was rising against the Rana family. In the 1930s, the king backed the Praha Parishad which sought to overthrow the Ranas. However, to hide his complicity in the movement, he publicly denounced all liberal movements and executed rebel leaders regularly. Still, the king used his power in interesting ways. In 1950, he went into exile to India in an attempt to destabilize the Rana government. His son and grandson accompanied him, denying Nepal of suitable heirs. Another grandson, Gyanendra, remained in Nepal and the Rana family rallied around him as their new figurehead monarch. The populace was so upset with this move by the Rana government that Prime Minister Mohan Sumsher finally had to negotiate the return of Tribhuvan. Within days of the king's return, the hereditary Rana family was removed from all government positions and a constitutional monarch was instated. To encourage consistency, Tribhuvan allowed the last Rana prime minister to remain until the transition to the new government was complete. King Tribhuvan died in 1955 in Zürich, Switzerland, under suspicious circumstances and was succeeded by his eldest son, Mahendra.
Date of Death: 13 March 1955
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