15 October 2012

Former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, is dead

The former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, died at Beijing, China, earlier today, 15 October 2012, 89 years old.

Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk was born in Phnom Penh on 31 October 1922 as the son of the then Prince Norodom Suramit and Princess Sisowath Kosamak. Sihanouk succeeded his grandfather Monivong in 1941, abdicated on behalf of his father Suramit in 1955 and became king again in 1993. He abdicated on 6 October 2004 and was awarded the title of "Great King" with presedence over his son, Norodom Sihamoni, who was elected King by the Throne Council on 14 October 2004.

Between 1955 and 1993 Sihanouk held several offices, including Prime Minister for several periods as well as head of state during the first year of the Khmer Rouge regime. One could say that he was a man of nine lives, but after having been ill for many years, he finally passed away.

Sihanouk had two offical wives, Princess Thavet Norleak (his first cousin, from whom he separated in 1968) and Princess Monique, née Monique Izzi, and had at least 14 children. See the Royal Ark for a genalogical survey.

His obituary was published at Telegraph.co.uk on 15 October 2012. See also the the news article at the same website as well as BBC News (which has links to even more articles on the subject).

Recommended literature: Milton Osborne. Sihanouk. Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness, Allen & Unwin, 1994. ISBN 1-86373-642-5.

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