The holding cell of the last king, in what is now a parking lot.
The last king of Sri Lanka was actually a Tamil. Sri Vikrama Rajasinha died in exile on January 30th, 1832. You can visit a memorial of sorts in the Ceylinco parking lot. Right now you can also watch the dubious heir to the Jaffna Kingdom on a TLC reality dating show.
Royalty and power are often about family and class more than race. The current British royal family is actually of German descent, having changed their name from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor after Gotha aircraft began bombing London. Around the same time, King George V’s first cousin Nicholas II was on the throne in Russia. European history is full of foreign monarchs who could barely speak the language of the country’s they inherited or married into.
Anyways, Sri Lanka was no different, and the last Kandyan kingdom was taken by one Prince Kannasamy, a member of the Madurai royal family. The current lion flag, which some take as a sign of Sinhala chauvinism, was actually (perhaps mythically) brought to the island by an Indian (Vijaya) and last flown by a Tamil King (Sri Vikrama Rajasinha).
AFAIK, for a while Tamil queens were imported, until Vira Narendra Sinha died without a heir. At that point the throne passed to his wife’s brother, and remained with the Nayakkars till the whole monarchy ended 75 years later.
In the end, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was deposed due to some fascinating scheming and double crossing by Prime Ministers and the British shipped him off to exile in Madurai, or shipped him back to Madurai, depending on how you looked at it. It just goes to show that race is just one way of looking at things, and it terms of power, rarely the most relevant.