Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sihanouk’s ashes enter the Royal Palace



Sihanouk’s ashes enter the Royal Palace

Sihanouk’s ashes enter the Royal Palace

King Norodom Sihamoni (seated, L) and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath take part in yesterday's ceremony, Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Seven days of mourning for King Father Norodom Sihanouk ended yesterday with the last of his remains being transported aboard a float to the Royal Palace, where his family will decide on a precise final resting place.

After scores of monks performed one final ceremony in the morning, King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath boarded a golden float – in the shape of a giant bird – holding the last of Sihanouk’s ashes in three urns, two gold and one crystal.

In the presence of other members of the royal family and government officials, the float made its way from the Veal Preah Meru crematorium to the Royal Palace at about 7:30am.

“It was more than rituals for us,” Prince Sisowath Thomico, a former aide to the King Father, said of the funeral ceremonies that began last Friday with a procession through Phnom Penh. “It was the last goodbye.”

Some of Sihanouk’s ashes were spread at the confluence of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac rivers on Tuesday, the morning after his cremation.

For now, the King Father’s final remains will stay in the Throne Hall until a decision is made about whether to build a stupa for him, Thomico said.

“The King Father wrote a few years ago that he wanted his remains placed in the stupa of his daughter,” he said, referring to Kantha Bopha, who died in 1952, aged 3, and who is honoured at the Silver Pagoda.



Prince Thomico said he had only one regret about the organisation of the past week’s ceremonies.

“Because the priority was given to security, the crowds of people were not allowed to come close to pay their respects – that is my one regret.”

Roads around the Royal Palace reopened at about 9:45am yesterday, allowing remaining mourners who had been shut out in previous days to get close to the palace and crematorium.

Phnom Penh Muncipal Health Department president Sok Sokhun said five mourners had fainted and were sent to hospital during the past week.

“But there were no serious problems,” he said.

The government has confirmed it will build a statue of the King Father close to the Independence Monument.

After yesterday’s ceremony, Prince Norodom Ranariddh offered gifts of 5,000 riel each to 130 cyclo drivers on Sothearos Boulevard. 

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]

Shane Worrell at [email protected]

With assistance from Khouth Sophak Chakrya

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of