Norodom Sihanouk

 Norodom Sihanouk:

Born October 31, 1922 was the king of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni. Since his abdication he has been known as The King-Father of Cambodia (Khmer: Preahmahavireaksat), a position in which retains many of his former responsibilities as constitutional monarch...

Norodom Sihanouk reportedly has had several wives and concubines, producing at least fourteen children in period of 11 years. According to Time (June 30, 1965), however, his only legal wives have been Princess Samdech Norleak (married 1955) and Paul Monique Izzi (married 1955), who is a step-granddaughter of HRH Prince Norodom Duongchak of Cambodia and the younger daughter of Pomme Peang and second husband. Jean-Francois Izzi. a banker. A profile of Sihanouk in The New York Times (June 4, 1993, page A8) stated that King met Monique Izzi in 1951, when he awarded her a prize in a beauty pageant.

According to Royal Ark's genealogy of the Cambodian Royal Family, however, Sihanouk has been married seven times, his consorts being:[14].

Excerpted from "Sosthene Fernandez" Khmer National Armed Forces, Norodom Sihanouk, Pages 7 and 11, Lambert M. Surhone, Mariam T. Tennoe, Susan F. Henssonow (Ed.).





Office of the Historian - Historical Documents - Foreign Relations ...


Norodom Sihanouk, King and Film-maker | Watch Documentaries ...



Excerpted fro$m "The History of Cambodia", by Justin J. Cortfield.

 Published by Greenwood Press, 2009, pages 53, 54, and 55.


 Prince Norodom Sihanouk as Leader

Sangkum was able to control political life in the country until 1970, and politicians from Sangkum for five years thereafter. With the 1955 elections, Prince Sihanouk was now the political master and he toured the world, becoming a closest friend of the Chinese Communist leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and investing both of them with Royal Cambodian honors. Foreign countries ---especially China --offered Cambodia financial aid, and Sihanouk accepted this offers with open arms, using the money to build a deep-water port as Kampong  Som (which was renamed Sihanoukville), railways, hospitals, and schools. If Sihanouk became famous for travelling around the world, he was well known in Cambodia for his regular appearances at rallies and for meeting people. Disgruntled individuals could come and present themselves at his Palace and seek redress, and he would deal with many of their problems.


He became approachable for many Cambodians, and the peasants loved him, as he shared bawdy jokes with them, made fun of pompous officials, and showed them films that he had directed and starred in.


On a personal front Sihanouk's private life had also settled down. He had a reputation in his youth as a playboy, although he did later say that he had never concured any Vietnamese woman" during this time. He had fallen with Monique Izzi, and he left his previous wives -- in fact, he had left some of them already --for her, Monique was the daughter of Francois Izzi, a Frenchman of Italian origin who had come to Cambodia, where he had married Mme Pomme Peang, who had previously been married to a Cambodian court official called Oum Phankeo, Oum and Pomme Peang already had three children; one, Oum Winavuth, served with distinction in French forces and had been killed by the Vietnamese Communists, and another, Oum Mannorine, was a police officer in Phnom Penh.


After Mr.Izzi left his wife and went back to Europe (he died in World War II), Monique and her sisters were brought up in the household of Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, where one of them, Nanette, married Sirik Matak's brother, Prince Sisowath Methavi. Although Oum Manorinne and Methavi never held posts under Sihanouk--the former ended up as a junior cabinet minister, and the lattter as Ambassador to East Germany--they wielded enormous influence with Prince Sihanouk.


This was a time when Sihanouk was also moving away from relying on his uncle Prince Monireth for advice. Indeed, Monireth had effectively withdrawn from the political scene, where he died in 1956.

.... (See Sam Sary, part of page 54)


Matter grew considerable worse when, on August 31, 1959, two suitcases containing presents exploded in the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, killing the Chief of Protocol, Prince Norodom Vakrivan, as he opened the one addresses to him. It appeared that the bomb in the other suitcase, which had been addressed to Prince Sihanouk, had detonated prematurely. On February 2, 1960, a 15-year-old boy turned up at the U.S. Embassy asking for help to assassinate Prince Sihanouk. The Embassy staff suspected entrapment and called the Cambodian police, who threw the boy in prison, where he languished for the next 10 years.








Prince/King Sihanouk & Princess/Queen Monique/Monineath



Excerpted from the Palm Beach Post - Jul 13, 1970.


Sihanouk's Wife Faces Possible Death penalty


PHNOM PENH (UPI) -- Loved by one and hated by hundreds, the beautiful Cambodian princess with the simple name, Monique, wants a palace but may get prison.


The government of Premier Lon Nol has indicated Prince Norodom Sihanouk's fourth wife, on bribery, corruption and conspiracy charges for which it says, it may ask the death penalty when Monique, 35, is brought to trial in absentia.


The Italian-Cambodian beauty queen winner, who is with her husband in exile, is blamed by the Cambodians for just about everything bad in the country except the common cold. She and her mother, Peang Pomme, are accused of exerting an evil influence upon Sihanouk, of accepting bribes from the Viet Cong, selling ambassadorship and corrupting the government officials.


The former Cambodian ambassador to Peking, Ney Valentin, blames Monique for Sihanouk's decision to set up his government in exile and failing under the influence of Peking.


In the indictment returned April 20, she is specifically accused of "selling land which she didn't own to the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. "It was upon these lands the Communists established their sanctuaries in eastern Cambodia.


The Cambodian press accused her of having an affair with the royal protocol officer -Bruno Forcinati, and of spending thousand of dollars to have a tiara made secretly for the time when she hoped to be crowned queen of Cambodia.


A beauty contest started the black-haired Eurasian girl on the road to the royal palace in Phnom Penh. She won it and Sihanouk, who took her as one of his many mistresses.


But once Monique got her slippered foot inside the royal boudoir, she became a power to be reckoned with.


She wanted to be a movie star, and her husband wrote, produced and directed her in his Cambodian-made films.


Monique moved her relative in. Half brother Oum Manorine became chief of the surface police and is one of the imprisoned defendants who faces trial with Monique and four others on the corruption and conspiracy charges.


The Cambodians doubt Sihanouk ever took any bribes. "Why should he"? asked a cabinet minister. "He owned the country, and had all the money he ever needed. Monique corrupted him with love. Everything in his word centered upon Monique."


Ambassador Ney Valentin said Monique's influence over Sihanouk decided for him to remain in Peking last March and set up the ramp government that started the war.


"When the prince arrived in Peking from Moscow," the ambassador said, "I met the plane, Sihanouk was worried and when he heard the news that he had been overthrown.


"Premier Chou En-Lai talked with them both, "Ney Valentin said. "And then Pham Van Dong, the North Vietnamese premier flew in unexpectedly from Hanoi. He argued with Sihanouk, trying to persuade him to fight for his throne." Then Monique had a private audience with Pham Van Dong which I was told that she requested. Shortly after that Sihanouk decided to stay in Peking."










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