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Nepal's Dethroned King Hands Over Crown, Leaves Palace

Nepal's ousted king has handed back his crown and left his main city palace in Kathmandu, marking yet another milestone in the newly formed republic. The former king, Gyanendra, said he would stay in Nepal and moved temporarily to a residence on the outskirts of the capital. Liam Cochrane reports from Kathmandu.

On his last day in Nepal's Narayanhiti Palace, former-king Gyanendra made an address to the nation.

Sitting in front of two stuffed tigers and surrounded by jostling reporters, Gyanendra said he would respect the verdict of the people to declare Nepal a republic.

Gyanendra said he would not go into exile and dismissed rumors that he had money in overseas bank accounts and properties.

The former King also addressed rumors that he had been behind the royal massacre in 2001, which killed most of the royal family and propelled him to the throne. He described the rumors as "inhumane" and said he hardly had time to grieve for his dead relatives before the conspiracy theories mounted.

Gyanendra said he had handed over the jewel-encrusted crown and royal scepter to the government.

The shift of residence comes almost two weeks after a special assembly voted to declare Nepal a republic.

King Gyanendra lost popularity when he sacked the government in 2005 and seized control of the country, a move he said was aimed at ending the civil war with the Maoist rebels.

But the rebels won the largest share in an election in April and pushed through their republican agenda.

Several hours after his press conference, the ousted king left the palace and drove to a semi-rural residence on the outskirts of Kathmandu to begin his new life as a common citizen.