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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Royal facts

Royal facts

The Khmer Monarchy is the only one in the world where both parents of a monarch have

succeeded a King or Queen to the throne

When King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated the throne in 1955, he handed it over to

his father King Norodom Suramarit. King Sihanouk's mother, Princess Sisowath Kossomak

Nearireak, who became Queen in 1955, reigned until 1970.

Five of King Sihanouk's 14 children were killed by the Khmer Rouge or disappeared

during their reign from 1975 to 1979.

When King Sihanouk returned to Cambodia in September 1975 after five years of

exile in China, two of his children, Princess Sorya Roeungsy and Prince Khmeanourak,

agreed to return with him but both disappeared shortly after.

Of King Sihanouk's six partners, only two were officially married to him: Princess

Thavet Norleak and Neak Moneang Monique Izzi, now Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk.

The controversial Prince Chakrapong was borne of a controversial beginning: King

Sihanouk's mother, Queen Kossomak Nearireak, and the French governor at the time

both interfered to prevent Sihanouk from marrying Chakrapong's mother Princess Sisowath

Pongsanmoni, who was 13 years old when she and the Prince began their liaison. She

was also the half sister of Queen Kossomak, making her Sihanouk's (younger) half

aunt. Princess Pongsanmoni bore the King seven children.

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