When the Crown Prince of Nepal shot dead nearly his entire family last June, one journalist described it to me as the first genuine news event she could remember. September 11 was yet to come. Since I had written about India, and with India being close to Nepal, it was suggested that I might go out and write about it. I was undecided, but the late lamented Talk magazine was offering lots of space and even higher rates than the Literary Review, so I said yes.
In Kathmandu, demonstrations were being broken up, local journalists were being arrested, cars were burning on the streets and most Nepalese were in a state of hysterical shock. The actions of Crown Prince Dipendra were so unbelievable that many people preferred not to believe them, and instead concocted wild conspiracy theories about what had gone on inside the royal palace. It was the CIA; it was his uncle; there were accomplices; Dipendra had been cloned, and the clones had done the killing while the real Dipendra was abducted. Mohamed Al Fayed may even have thought the Duke of Edinburgh had had a hand in it.
Nepal's official press led with headlines such as 'Their Late Majesties