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Prabal Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana

Diane and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death in Kathmandu of our oldest and dearest Nepalese friend Prabal Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana on 21 June 2019 at the age of 80. May his soul rest in peace.

Prabal was born in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu on the 16 February 1939 as the third child and second son of General Kiran Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana sometime Commander-in-Chief, Ambassador to the Court of St James and Honorary ADC General to Kings Tribhuvan, Mahendra and Birendra and his wife Yuba Kumari Shah. He was educated at Colonel Brown’s School, Dehradun 1946-1950, Bishop Cotton School, Simla 1951-1954 (Senior Cambridge), St Stephen’s College, Delhi University 1955-1958 (BA Hons, History) and University College London 1958-1961 (BA Hons, History).

In London in 1960, he was one of the founding members of the Britain-Nepal Society to whom he sent the following message earlier this year…

“On the occasion of The Britain-Nepal Society Annual Supper on Thursday 21st February 2019, I send Greetings to the President, Chairman, Members and distinguished guests – including many old friends. I wish that I could have joined you on this auspicious occasion but, despite being able to quietly celebrate my 80th birthday with my immediate family last Saturday, I regret that my health no longer permits me to travel outside Kathmandu. My best wishes to you all for a happy and successful supper. Prabal”

Prabal’s long diplomatic career comprised Section Officer, Protocol Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1964-1965, Second Secretary, Royal Nepalese Embassy, Rome 1965-1967, Section Officer, Neighbouring Countries Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1967-1969, Second-Secretary, Royal Nepalese Embassy, Islamabad 1969-1973, Acting Under-Secretary, Protocol Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1973-1975, Acting Under-Secretary, Europe and Americas Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1975-1977 (accompanied HM King Birendra on his State Visit to USSR 1976), Consul-General in New York and First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN 1977-1979, Deputy Chief of Protocol 1979-1982 (accompanied TM King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya on their State Visits to Sri Lanka and the UK 1980), First Secretary, Royal Nepalese Embassy, London 1982-1985, Counsellor, Royal Nepalese Embassy, London 1985-1987, Under Secretary, SAARC Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1987-1992, Director SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu 1992-1996, Joint Secretary, Economic Relations and Coordination Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1996-8 March 1997 retired, adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and involvement with the Institute of Foreign Affairs 1997-2002 (member of the International Observers Team for the Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka December 1999) and His Excellency Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St James and concurrently to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Ireland 28 May 2003-22 June 2006, Founding Member of the Association of Former Career Ambassadors of Nepal (AFCAN) 2007, Vice-President, AFCAN 2012-2013.

His many Nepalese and foreign awards included Order of the Yugoslav Flag 3rd Class 1974, Member of The Most Puissant Order of the Gurkha Right Hand 4th Class (Prabala Gorkha-Dakshina Bahu) 1974, King Birendra Coronation Medal (Shubha-Rajyabhishek-Padak) 1975, Member of the Most Illustrious Order of the Three Divine Powers 4th Class (Prakhyata Trishakti-Patta) 1975, Member of The Most Puissant Order of the Gurkha Right Hand 3rd Class (Suprabala Gorkha-Dakshina Bahu) 1977, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) 1980, Member of the Most Illustrious Order of the Three Divine Powers 3rd Class (Vikhyata Trishakti-Patta) 1980, Member of The Most Puissant Order of the Gurkha Right Hand 2nd Class (Prasiddha Prabala Gorkha-Dakshina Bahu) 1981, Member of the Most Illustrious Order of the Three Divine Powers 2nd Class (Suvikhyat Trishakti-Patta) 1983, Third SAARC Summit Commemoration Medal 1987, Member of the Order of the Footprint of Nepal 4th Class (Keertimaya Nepal-Shreepada) 1987 and Birendra Aishwarya Service Medal (Birendra Aishwarya Seva Padak) 2003.

Throughout his career he was supported by his dear wife Shanti until her untimely death in 1996. He is survived by his sons Prashant and Prabir (Pompy), daughters-in-law Bala and Maya, granddaughter Prama, sister-in-law Karuna (Pragun, Salina and family), brother Subodh and sister-in-law Lucy (Monica, Pierre and family) and many cousins, nephews and nieces. Our sincere condolences to his entire extended family.

I last stayed with Prabal in his Budhanilkantha home for three weeks in 2013. We continued our almost 40 years’ friendship and our shared passion in the research of the Shah, Rana, Rajya and related families vamshavalis which began in 1980. I will miss my dear friend greatly.

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