Episode 3, Day 1, Part 2 of King Sihanouk Funeral…

A somehow subdued ceremony was held in front of the Royal Palace in the afternoon of the 1st of 3 days of ceremonies for the transfer of late King Norodom Sihanouk’s ashes to a stupa inside the Royal Palace compound.

Was it the presence of a delegation of opposition CNRP lawmakers, led by its Vice President Kem Sokha, which triggered a change of announced plans and kept both the Apsara dancers, all readied with  candles, as well as the Queen Mother and her son King Sihamoni inside, behind the gates of the palace?

Besides a few tourists, delighted by the show of colourfull saffran-clad monks in front of the fairy-tale lights of the palace’s walls, there was no public to be seen: a far cry from the throngs of devotees who filled the streets during the previous ceremonies in 2013.