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Nepal's deposed king leaves palace

Nepal's deposed king gave up his crown of peacock feathers, yak hair and jewels Wednesday and left his palace forever.

Former King Gyanendra's departure closed the final chapter on the world's last Hindu monarchy, but a remnant stayed behind: the 94-year-old mistress of the deposed monarch's grandfather, who died more than half a century ago.

Little else will remain, however, of a dynasty that united Nepal and reigned for 239 years. The palace – a pink concrete monstrosity – will be turned into a museum. But there's little likelihood it will celebrate a monarchy that Nepal's new government of former communist rebels fought to overthrow.

Gyanendra is to live as something akin to an ordinary citizen, albeit an incredibly wealthy one, protected by police at a one-time summer palace on a forested hill on the outskirts of Katmandu.

“I have no intention or thoughts to leave the country,” Gyanendra said hours before departing. “I will stay in the country to help establish peace.”

The vast majority of Nepalis have made it clear they are pleased to see the monarchy end. While Gyanendra's throne was formally abolished last month, his departure Wednesday carries great significance in a nation ruled by Shah dynasty monarchs for more than two centuries.

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