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

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the