|Queen consort of Nepal|
|Tenure||13 March 1955 – 31 January 1972|
|Coronation||2 May 1956|
|Born||19 August 1928|
Hari Bhawan, Bagmati, Kathmandu, Nepal
|Spouse||Mahendra of Nepal|
|House||Rana dynasty (by birth)|
Shah dynasty (by marriage)
|Father||Hari Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana|
|Mother||Megha Kumari Rajya Lakshmi|
Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah (born 19 August 1928) is a member of the Nepalese Royal Family who was Queen consort of Nepal from 1955 to 1972 and Queen Mother from 1972 to 2008 when the royal family were stripped of all titles and privileges. She is the second wife of King Mahendra (1920–1972). Ratna belongs to the aristocratic Rana family and is the daughter of Field Marshal Hari Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana and his wife, Megha Kumari Rajya Lakshmi.
Ratna's older sister Crown Princess Indra had married Crown Prince Mahendra in 1940 but died in 1950. Two years later, Ratna married Mahendra. Mahendra already had three sons and three daughters with Indra. Ratna became Queen consort after Mahendra's father King Tribhuvan died in 1955. In 1972, King Mahendra suffered a fatal heart attack while hunting in Chitwan National Park. His oldest son, Prince Birendra took over as Ratna became Queen Mother.
On the evening of June 1, 2001, when the Nepalese royal massacre took place, the Queen Mother was sitting with her sister-in-law Princess Helen Shah in the anteroom, and thus survived. The two women heard the gunshots but did not take them seriously. A few minutes later, Prince Paras came and told them that the Crown Prince Dipendra had shot everybody, including the King. With Dipendra declared King while still in coma, Ratna briefly became the Queen Grandmother of Nepal. She was said to have refused to see the unconscious body of Dipendra, who had allegedly opened fire on the royal family members.
The Nepalese monarchy was abolished in 2008 after the Constituent Assembly election. All members of the royal family had to evacuate the Narayanhity Palace, with the exception of the Queen Mother. King Gyanendra made arrangements for his ailing step-mother and aunt to stay in Mahendra Manzil, a palace within the complex of Narayanhity Palace Museum. The Maoist government, however, confiscated numerous palaces that her husband Mahendra had built on his personal property as gifts to her.
On 24 August 2016, the Nepal Electricity Authority cut off the power supply to the former Queen Mother’s residence, Mahendra Manzil, citing an outstanding electricity bill of Rs. 3.7 million over the last 8 years. The Queen Mother was said to have asked her step-son and nephew Gyanendra to not act on the issue and come to her palace with fuels for generators. This resulted in a huge public outcry, where protesters had gathered at Ratna Park, a public park Mahendra had built in her honor, and burned an effigy of the new Energy Minister Janardan Sharma of the Maoist Party. Sharma was alleged by the media to have acted in vendetta as he had ignored bills of a hospital associated to him that owed more than RS.10 million. Due to public backlash, the government was forced to restore the power to the Mahendra Manzil Palace after 20 hours.
On 5 March 2019, Ratna was hospitalized in the Norvic Hospital due to a week long persistent cough and flu. An elite team of five doctors attended to her, and she was visited by her son Gyanendra and daughter in-law Queen Komal with homemade food.
- Nepal Pratap Bhaskara (25 December 1966).
- Order of Ojaswi Rajanya, 1st class (1964).
- Tribhuvan Order of the Footprint of Democracy, 1st class (2 May 1956).
- Order of the Footprint of Nepal, 1st class (16 December 1962).
- Order of Om Rama Patta, 1st class.
- Ati Suvikhyata Sewalankar [Renowned Service Medal].
- King Mahendra Investiture Medal (2 May 1956).
- King Birendra Investiture Medal (24 February 1975).
- Commemorative Silver Jubilee Medal of King Birendra (31 January 1997).
- King Gyanendra Investiture Medal (4 June 2001).
- Paulwonia Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown
- Grand Cross Special Issue of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol (1970).
- Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1970).
- Commemorative Medal of the 2500th Anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire (14 October 1971).
|Ancestors of Queen Ratna of Nepal|
- Swift, Dusty (10 May 2011). Illusions of Enlightenment: A Story about a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal and His Discovery of the Buddhist Teachings. iUniverse. ISBN 9781450290654.
- "In Nepal, the lights go out in former Queen’s home but Ratna still commands power among people"
- "South Asia | Vote to abolish Nepal's monarchy". BBC News. 28 December 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Getty Images". Archived from the original on 9 February 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- Benelux Royal Archived 28 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- Iran. Host to the World Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Badraie. Retrieved on 27 April 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Queen Ratna of Nepal.|
| Queen consort of Nepal