Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, (born December 28, 1945, Kathmandu, Nepal—diedJune 1, 2001, Kathmandu) king of Nepal from 1972 to 2001, 10th in the line of monarchs in the Shah Dev family.
Birendra had spent eight years studying at St Joseph’s College, a Jesuit school in Darjeeling, with his brother Gyanendra. In 1959 King Birendra enrolled at Eton College in the United Kingdom. He later completed his education by spending some time at the University of Tokyo before studying political theory at Harvard University from 1967 to 1968.
King Birendra was married to Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi from the Rana family (and his second cousin) on 27 February 1970.The wedding, which was billed as one of the most lavish Hindu nuptial ceremonies in history, cost $9.5 million to stage. King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya had three children.
After his father’s (King Mahendra) death in 1972, King Birendra consulted his court astrologers, who advised him to delay his coronation for three years, the most auspicious moment for his crowning being at 8:37 am precisely on February 4, 1975.
On the auspicious occasion of his coronation, the King announced that he had ordered his government to make primary education available and free for every child, but disappointed those Nepalis who hoped that he would promise progress towards democracy.