Monarchies around the world - VIII. Southeastern Asia - 74. Cambodia

Established: 803 as the Khmer Empire - 1863 (as French protectorate) - 1953 (independence from France)
Status: Reigning
Royal house: Varman dynasty of Cambodia
Seat: Royal Palace, Chaktomuk (since 1866) - Oudong (historical)
Head and current monarch: Sihamoni (b. May 14th, 1953), styled HM The King of Cambodia,(since 2004); unmarried, no issue.
Heir: See below.
Succession laws: Elective monarchy, monarch is chosen among members of the Royal Family* after death or abdication of previous ruler (formerly primogeniture)
Highest order Royal Order of Cambodia
Faith: Theravada Buddhism , originally Hinduism
Crown jewels: Cambodian Crown Jewels
Website: King Norodom Sihamoni - Official Website

* The Khmer Empire came to an end with the fall of capital city Angkor to the Siamese in 1431. Barom Reachea II, the monarch at the time, moved his court provisionally to Srey Santhor before establishing Chaktomuk (present-day Phnom Penh) as his capital in 1434. Chaktomuk lost its position as royal seat in the early 16th century due to internal conflict, with Longvek taking its place as capital city. However, the Cambodians would again be forced to relocate the royal court due to war with the Siamese and the loss of Longvek in 1593, finally establishing Oudong as capital in 1620.

Oudong would remain the royal capital until 1866, when, under French suzerainty, the royal dynasty relocated to Chaktomuk.

** The Cambodian Royal Family comprises the lines of King Norodom (senior branch) and King Sisowath (junior branch), sons of Ang Duong of Cambodia (ruled 1841-1860).

Pictured: His Majesty during a visit to Angkor, 2004. Heron/WC



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