In the end, it was hard not to feel a little bit sorry for Nepal’s deposed King Gyanendra.
He had seemed an impossibly distant, arrogant figure in the past, but on Wednesday, addressing the press before leaving the palace, in his first and possibly final news conference, he kept his dignity and showed a previously unseen human side.
So it was a pity his swansong — and that of a once-cherished 239-year-old monarchy — was surrounded by chaos, with more than 200 journalists jostling for a view in the palace’s small main hall, constantly pushing and shoving each other.
As Gyanendra read from a prepared text in the palace’s small main hall, two stuffed tigers behind him, people shouted aggressive questions as the former king ploughed on, his amplified voice alternately booming and then dropping out altogether.
He may have spent most of his time in his gaudy pink Kathmandu palace cut off from reality, ultimately unloved and unlistened to, and some may have felt his final farewell was a fitting end.