Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 18:35 UK

Eviction notice for Nepalese king

The palace of former King Gyanendra
For many Maoists, the king cannot leave the palace soon enough

Nepal's government has formally told the deposed monarch to vacate the royal palace within the next two weeks.

Correspondents say that the order was officially relayed to him on Friday - a national holiday.

Nepalese television stations have broadcast video of trucks being driven from the palace to Gyanendra's private home, filmed overnight.

Meanwhile, the government has denied rumours that the deposed king left the palace late on Thursday.

The government has set up a committee to audit palace property prior to nationalisation.

Ministers say that Gyanendra will move house in co-ordination with the authorities. He has been sent a copy of the assembly resolution which almost unanimously abolished the crown, and a letter asking that he move out.

Former King Gyanendra

It is believed the former king and his wife will move to a private family residence in northern Kathmandu called Jeevan Kunj.

Next door is the house where he used to live, called Nirmal Niwas.

But his son, ex-prince Paras, now lives there with his family - contrary to the usual Nepalese practice of married sons staying with their parents.

The BBC's Charles Haviland, in Kathmandu, says that it is not known where Gyanendra's ageing stepmother, former queen mother Ratna, will stay.

She has lived in a lodge at the royal palace ever since marrying Gyanendra's father after his first wife, her own elder sister, died.

Last Sunday, administrators of a national archive warned the authorities that they must work to protect papers held at the royal palace, some of which date back as much as 2,000 years.

One, Kanak Dixit, told the BBC there was a lack of sober reflection on such matters during what he called the current "populist posturing".

The abolition of the monarchy was a key demand of the former rebels who emerged from April's elections to the assembly as the biggest party.

The former king has yet to make any comment on Wednesday's vote.

Correspondents say the Maoists and other politicians are being conciliatory, saying the king should live on in Nepal as a private citizen.

Some militant pro-Hindu and pro-royal factions are campaigning against Nepal's shedding of its royal - and its officially Hindu - status.

The monarchy's fall from grace has come swiftly and was heralded by the 2001 massacre in which the then-crown prince Dipendra killed his family and several other royals.

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