Preparations are underway to celebrate the 31st birthday of the heir to Nepal's throne, Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. With this royal birthday around the corner, people's attention is focused on the crown prince. People are asking why the crown prince is unmarried at this age, and whether his future as the heir to throne is in danger.
This is not an uncommon worry for the Nepali people, who have a lot of faith in and respect for the royal family. Crown Prince Dipendra is perhaps the first member of the Nepali royalty to break tradition and not be married even at 31. The Royal Palace is also concerned about the Crown Prince's marriage. But many do not know where the crown prince's heart lies.
People close to the crown prince speak of two women he has an emotional relationship with. According to them, one is a childhood sweetheart, while his relationship with the other began when he was older. "It might be that the crown prince is finding it difficult to choose between the two," jokes a palace employee, adding, "But he does not support bigamy."
Crown Prince Dipendra is romantic in nature, and he loves to joke and be open. His professors say he is uninhibited and has the poetic talents of his grandfather, the late King Mahendra, although his poems have not been published yet. Some people say the crown prince is against parliamentary democracy, but in reality he supports it wholeheartedly. He wants the Nepali people to have social discipline and responsibility.
The crown prince is also very studious, his favourite subject being Nepal's geography. He does not read a lot of fiction but devours non-fiction. He also painstakingly reads all the major newspapers. Crown Prince Dipendra also engages in discussions about how to boost the nation's economy. He often quotes slokas from the Gita during discussions, but has a vision for the future.
The crown prince usually likes to dress in informal and colourful clothes. His favourite is a brown daura-suruwal, says a source close to him. According to him, the crown prince is very conscious of the Nepali dhaka topi and if he particularly likes one, will wear it until the colours fade.
Crown Prince Dipendra's most gentlemanly quality is that he never leaves if someone is speaking to him, even though he is often constrained for time. He is only satisfied once the discussion ends. Although he is very interested in matters of governance and state administration, he does not wish to see the monarchy heading the politics of the country. He maintains his stand that the monarchy must play a major role in social development. The enthusiasm he displayed in the SAF Games is proof of his belief.
Another professor close to the Crown Prince says Dipendra views his grandfather, the late King Mahendra as the biggest "communist with a crown". He does not believe any of the communist parties are real communists, except the extreme leftists. The crown prince likes to talk with Krishna Prasad Bhattrai and admires his wisdom and ability to be light-hearted even at the most serious times. His relationship with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala is, however, just cordial.
Crown Prince Dipendra turns 31 on 27 June. It is high time His Royal Highness got married. The Nepali people wish to celebrate his marriage soon and in the grandest manner. Everyone is worrying about when this will happen.