Norodom Sihanouk

1922 — 2012

Norodom Sihanouk became the King of Cambodia in 1941 during the Second World War. His country was a French protectorate under Japanese occupation. He headed the movement that led to independence in 1955 and his government pursued a policy of neutrality and friendship with north Vietnam, Laos and People’s China.

He was deposed by a pro-American clique in 1970 when the Vietnam War was at its height and lived in exile in China and the DPR Korea. He returned to Cambodia in 1975 and abdicated in favour of his son in 2004 to hold the post of King-Father of Cambodia, a position in which he retained many of his former responsibilities as constitutional monarch. Norodom Sihanouk died on 15th October 2012.