Nepalese princess weds commoner

KATHMANDU: Hindu priests chanted hymns and prayed to the elephant god Ganesh as Nepal’s royal family, targeted in a 2001 palace massacre, attended the marriage on Wednesday of King Gyanendra’s only daughter to a commoner. 

The late-night nuptials gave the monarchy and the impoverished Himalayan kingdom a brief chance to forget the palace bloodbath 19 months ago in which 10 royals died, as well as an increasingly deadly Maoist revolt gripping the nation. 

Thousands of Nepalis lined the streets to cheer the smiling and waving 29-year-old groom Raj Bahadur Singh as he rode in a black carriage drawn by two white horses to the high-walled palace in the ancient city’s centre. 

King Gyanendra and Queen Komal gave away the bride, Princess Prerna, 24, wearing a gold embroidered bright red sari, her face veiled, in the ceremony presided over by the chief royal priest.  

The wedding, held on a flower-festooned dias set up on the palace lawn, was a “strictly private, family affair” attended by relatives and royal guests, a palace official said. 

The monarch is revered by Nepalis as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, one of the Hindu trinity of gods, and no commoners aside from servants are usually allowed inside the royal compound. – Reuters 

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