Monarchy of Cambodia

The monarchy of Cambodia is the head of state of the Kingdom of Cambodia. In the contemporary period, the King's power has been limited to that of a symbolic figurehead. The monarchy had been in existence since at least 68 AD except during its abolition from 1970 to 1993. Since 1993, the King of Cambodia has been an elected monarch, making Cambodia one of the few elective monarchies of the world. The king is elected for life by the Royal Council of the Throne, which consists of several senior political and religious figures. Candidates are chosen from among male descendants of King Ang Duong who are at least 30 years old, from the two royal houses of Cambodia (the House of Norodom and the House of Sisowath).

King of Cambodia
Norodom Sihamoni
since 14 October 2004
StyleHis Majesty
First monarchSoma, Queen of Funan
Formation68 CE; 1,955 years ago
Abolition9 October 1970 – 24 September 1993
ResidenceKhemarin Palace (official)
The Royal Residence (secondary)
AppointerRoyal Council of the Throne


Cambodia's constitution, promulgated in 1993 stipulated the king's role as a mainly ceremonial one. It declared that the king "shall reign, but not govern"[1] as well as being the "symbol of national unity and continuity".[2]

The king performs important functions of state as required by the constitution. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Appointing the Prime Minister of Cambodia and the Cabinet of Cambodia.[3]
  • Convening over the opening of the two legislative bodies, the National Assembly of Cambodia and the Senate of Cambodia.[4][5]
  • Serving as the Supreme Commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.[6]
  • Meeting with the Prime Minister on a semi-monthly basis in which the King is briefed on matters of state.[7]
  • Signing the royal code/decree that gives effect to laws enacted by the legislature and proposals by the cabinet.[8]
  • Acting as "supreme arbiter" to enable the functioning of state institutions.[9]
  • Receiving credentials from ambassadors.[10]
  • Possessing the power of commutation and pardon.[11]
  • Presiding over the Supreme Council of the Magistracy.[12][13]
  • Appointing a fixed number of members to serve on state institutions such as the Senate and the Constitutional Council.[14][15]
  • Awarding of national honours.[16]

The king also fulfils other roles not explicitly mentioned in the constitution in his capacity as head of state, for example, presiding over events of national significance[17] including religious ceremonies and traditions integral to the Khmer nation,[18] supporting humanitarian and philanthropic causes,[19] and representing Cambodia abroad when undertaking official visits overseas.[20] Although there have been female rulers in the past, the 1993 constitution currently forbids women from succeeding to the throne.[21]

Ministry of the Royal Palace

The Ministry of the Royal Palace, currently overseen by Minister Kong Sam Ol in conjunction with the Supreme Privy Advisory Council, formerly headed by the King's half-brother Prince Norodom Ranariddh assists and advises the king accordingly in carrying out his duties as monarch.

Mythological history

  • Sage Kambu Swayambhuva

Early period (68–1431)

Funan (68–627)

Order Monarch Names in Foreign Texts Reign
1 Queen Soma Liǔyè
(Traditional Khmer Call: Neang Neak)
68 – later 1st century
2 Kaundinya I Hùntián
(Traditional Khmer Call: Preah Tong)
later 1st century
3 Unknown Unknown later 2nd century
4 Hun Pan-huang Hùnpánkuàng later 2nd century – 198
5 Pan-Pan Hùnpánpán 198–201
6 Srei Meara Fàn Shīmàn or Fàn Shīwàn 201–225
7 Unknown Fàn Jīnshēng 225
8 Unknown Fàn Zhān 225–244
9 Unknown Fàn Chāng 244
10 Unknown Fàn Xún 244–289
11 Unknown Fàn Tiānzhú 289–357
12 Unknown Tiānzhú Zhāntán 357–410
13 Kaundinya II Qiáochénrú 410–434
14 Srindravarman I Chílítuóbámó 434–435
15 Unknown Unknown 435–438?
16 Unknown Unknown 438?–484
17 Jayavarman Kaundinya Shéyébámó 484–514
18 Rudravarman Liútuóbámó 514–550
FunanChenla War: 550–627
19 Pvirakvarman I Unknown 550–600
20 Mhenteractvarman I Unknown 600–615
21 Nteractvarman I Unknown 615–627

Chenla (550–802)

Order Monarch Personal Name Reign
Shruta Varman 550–555
Shreshtha Varman II 555–560
Vira Varman 560–575
Queen Kambuja-raja-lakshmi 575–580
22 Bhavavarman I Bhavavarman 580–600
23 Mohendravarman Chet Sen 600–616
24 Isanavarman I Isanavarman 616–635
25 Bhavavarman II Bhavavarman 639–657
26 Jayavarman I Jayavarman 657–681
27 Queen Jayadevi Jayadevi 681–713

Khmer Empire (802–1431)

Order Monarch Personal Name Reign
28 Jayavarman II Jayavarman 802–850
29 Jayavarman III Jayavarthon 850–877
30 Indravarman I Indravarman 877–889
31 Yasovarman I Yasovarthon 889–910
32 Harshavarman I Harshavarman 910–923
33 Ishanavarman II Isanavarman 923–928
34 Jayavarman IV Jayavarman 928–941
35 Harshavarman II Harshavarman 941–944
36 Rajendravarman I Rajedravarman 944–968
37 Jayavarman V Jayavarman 968–1001
38 Udayadityavarman I Udayadityavarman 1001–1002
39 Jayavirahvarman Jayavirahvarman 1002–1006
40 Suryavarman I Suryavarman 1006–1050
41 Udayadityavarman II Udayadityavarman 1050–1066
42 Harshavarman III Harshavarman 1066–1080
43 Nripatindravarman Nripatindravarman 1080–1113
44 Jayavarman VI Jayavarman 1080–1107
45 Dharanindravarman I Dharanindravarman 1107–1113
46 Suryavarman II Suryavarman 1113–1150
47 Dharanindravarman II Dharanindravarman 1150–1156
48 Yasovarman II Yasovarman 1156–1165
49 Tribhuvanadityavarman Tribhuvanadityavarman 1165–1177
Cham Invasion: 1177–1181
50 Jayavarman VII Jayavathon 1181–1218
51 Indravarman II Indravarman 1218–1243
The first major Thai kingdom was created in 1238 during the reign of Indravarman by Pho Khun Si Intharathit in Sukhothai, an area formerly ruled by Lavo in vassalage to Angkor.
52 Jayavarman VIII Jayavarman 1243–1295
53 Indravarman III Srei Indravarman 1295–1308
54 Indrajayavarman Srei Jayavarman 1308–1327
55 Jayavarman IX Jayavama Borommesvarah / Jayavarman Parameshwara 1327–1336
56 Trasak Paem Ponhea Chey 1336–1340
57 Nippean Bat Ponhea Kreak 1340–1346
58 Sithean Reachea Sidhanta Raja 1346–1347
59 Lompong Reachea Trosok Peam or Ponhea Chey or Sri Lampang Paramaraja 1347–1352
Siamese Invasion: 1352–1357
60 Basat Bakrasat 1356–1359
61 Soryavong Soryavong 1357–1363
62 Borom Reachea I Barom Reamea 1363–1373
63 Thomma Saok Kaeo Fa 1373–1393
Siamese Invasion: 1393 (5 months)
64 In Reachea Nakhonin 1394–1421
65 Ponhea Prek Unknown name 1421
66 Borom Reachea II Ponhea Yat 1405–1431

Middle Period (1431–1863)

Chaktomuk period (1431–1525)

NamePortraitPersonal NameReign
Borom Reachea II
Ponhea Yat
Noreay Reameathiptei
នរាយ រាមាធិបតី
Reachea Reameathiptei
រាជា រាមាធិបតី
Sri Raja
Srei Soriyotei II
Thommo Reachea I
ធម្មោ រាជា ទី១
Srei Sukonthor
Damkhat Sukonthor1504–1512
Civil War: Chan Reachea and Sdech Kan war: 1516–1525

Longvek period (1525–1594)

NamePortraitPersonal NameReign
Srei Chettha
Sdach Korn
Ang Chan I
Ponhea Chan
Barom Reachea I
Satha Mahindharaja1566–1576
Satha I
Barom Reachea IV
Chey Chettha I
Chey Chettha

Srei Santhor Era (1594–1620)

NamePortraitPersonal NameReign
Preah Ram I
ព្រះរាម ទី១
Reamea Cheung Prey
Preah Ram II
ព្រះរាម ទី២
Keo Ban On1596–1597
Paramaraja II (Barom Reachea II)
បរមរាជា ទី២
Ponhea Ton
Paramaraja III (Barom Reachea III)
បរមរាជា ទី៣
Ponhea An
Kaev Hua I
Ponhea Nhom
Paramaraja IV (Barom Reachea IV)
បរមរាជា ទី៤
Srei Soriyopor

Oudong period (1620–1863)

NamePortraitPersonal NameReign Relationship to predecessor
Chey Chettha II
1618–1628 Son
Dhammaraja II (Thommo Reachea II)
Ponhea To
1628–1631 Son
Ang Tong Reachea
Ponhea Nou
1631–1640 Brother
Padumaraja (Batom Reachea)
Ang Non
1640–1642 Cousin[lower-alpha 1]
Ramadhipati (Reameathiptei I)
Ponhea Chan
1642–1658 Cousin
Paramaraja V (Barom Reachea V)
បុរមរាជា ទី៥
Ang So
1658–1672 Cousin
Chey Chettha III
ជ័យជេដ្ឋា ទី៣
1672–1673 Nephew[lower-alpha 2]
Preah Keo II (Keo Fa II)
Ang Chee
1673–1674 Cousin[lower-alpha 3]
Batom Reachea III
Ang Nan1674 [lower-alpha 4]
Chey Chettha IV
ជ័យជេដ្ឋា ទី៤
Ang Sor1675–1695, 1696–1699, 1700–1702 and 1703–1706 [lower-alpha 5]
Outey I
Ang Yong
1695–1696 Cousin once removed[lower-alpha 6]
Parama Ramadhipati (Barom Reameathiptei)
បរម រាមាធិបតី
Ang Em1699–1700 and 1710–1722 [lower-alpha 7]
Dhammaraja III (Thommo Reachea III)
សេដ្ឋា ទី២
Ang Tham1702–1703, 1706–1709 and 1736–1747 [lower-alpha 8]
Satha II
សេដ្ឋា ទី២
Ang Chey
1722–1736 and 1749 [lower-alpha 9]
Dhammaraja IV (Thommo Reachea IV)
Ang Em
1747 [lower-alpha 10]
Ramadhipati III (Reameathiptei III)
Ang Tong
1748–1749, 1755–1758 Brother-in-law
Chey Chettha V
ជ័យជេដ្ឋា ទី៥
Ang Snguon
1749–1755 Brother-in-law
Udayaraja II (Outey Reachea II)
ឧទ័យរាជា ទី២
Ang Ton
1758–1775 Cousin twice removed[lower-alpha 11]
Ream Reachea
Ang Non II
អង្គនន់ទី ២
1775–1779 Cousin once removed[lower-alpha 12]
Narayanaraja III (Neareay Reachea III)
នារាយណ៍រាជាទី ៣ ។
Ang Eng
1779–1782, 1794–1796 Cousin twice removed[lower-alpha 13]
Regency, Ang Chan being a minor: 1796–1806
Udayaraja III (Outey Reachea III)
ឧទ័យរាជា ទី៣
Ang Chan
1806–1834 Son
Ang Mey
Ksat Trey1834–1841 Daughter
Hariraksa Rama Issaradhipati (Harihak Reamea Issarathiptei)
Ang Duong
1841–1860 Uncle
Norodom Prohmbarirak
នរោត្ដម ព្រហ្មបរិរក្ស
Ang Reacheavoddey
19 October 1860

11 August 1863

Modern period (1863–present)

French protectorate of Cambodia (1863–1953)

NamePortraitHouseBirthDeathRelationship to predecessor
Norodom Prohmbarirak
នរោត្ដម ព្រហ្មបរិរក្ស
11 August 1863

24 April 1904
(40 years, 257 days)
Norodom3 February 1834
Angkor Borei
24 April 1904
Phnom Penh
Aged: 70 years, 81 days
Sisowath Chamchakrapong
ស៊ីសុវត្ថិ ចមចក្រពង្ស
27 April 1904

9 August 1927
(23 years, 104 days)
Sisowath7 September 1840
Mongkol Borey
9 August 1927
Phnom Penh
Aged: 86 years, 336 days
Sisowath Monivong
ស៊ីសុវត្ថិ មុនីវង្ស
9 August 1927

23 April 1941
(13 years, 257 days)
Sisowath27 December 1875
Phnom Penh
23 April 1941
Aged: 65 years, 117 days
Norodom Sihanouk[22]
នរោត្តម សីហនុ
24 April 1941

2 March 1955
(13 years, 312 days)
Norodom31 October 1922
Phnom Penh
15 October 2012
Aged: 89 years, 350 days
Maternal grandson

First Kingdom of Cambodia (1953–1970)

NamePortraitHouseBirthDeathRelationship to predecessor
Norodom Suramarit
នរោត្តម សុរាម្រិត
3 March 1955

3 April 1960
(5 years, 31 days)
Norodom6 March 1896
Phnom Penh
3 April 1960
Phnom Penh
Aged: 64 years, 28 days
Sisowath Monivong Kossamak Nearirath Sereyvathana
ស៊ីសុវត្ថិ មុនីវង្ស កុសុមៈ នារីរ័ត្ន សេរីវឌ្ឍនា
20 June 1960

9 October 1970
(10 years, 111 days)
[lower-alpha 14]
9 April 1904
Phnom Penh
27 April 1975
Aged: 71 years, 18 days

Second Kingdom of Cambodia (1993–present)

NamePortraitHouseBirthDeathRelationship to predecessor
Norodom Sihanouk
នរោត្តម សីហនុ
24 September 1993

7 October 2004
(11 years, 13 days)
Norodom31 October 1922
Phnom Penh
15 October 2012
Aged: 89 years, 350 days
Norodom Sihamoni
នរោត្តម សីហមុនី
14 October 2004

(18 years, 111 days)
Norodom14 May 1953
Phnom Penh
Age: 69 years, 264 days

Royal symbols

See also


  1. Son of Outey, which was the brother to Chey Chettha II
  2. Son of Batom Reachea, which was a brother to Barom Reachea V (both sons of Outey)
  3. Son of Barom Reachea V
  4. Grandson of Outey
  5. Son of Barom Reachea V
  6. Son of Preah Keo II, who was a cousin to Chey Chettha IV
  7. Son of Batom Reachea III
  8. Son of Chey Chettha IV
  9. Son of Barom Reameathiptei
  10. Son of Thommo Reachea III
  11. Grandson of Ang Tong
  12. Son of Chey Chettha V
  13. Son Outey II
  14. Queen Sisowath Kossamak was not an official monarch, but a "symbol, incarnation, and representative" of the dynasty after the death of her husband, King Norodom Suramarit. Norodom Sihanouk appointed himself chief of state whose powers equal that of a traditional monarch.[23]


  1. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 7.
  2. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 8.
  3. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter X, Article 119.
  4. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter VII, Article 82.
  5. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter VIII, Article 106.
  6. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 23.
  7. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 20.
  8. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Articles 26 and 28.
  9. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 9.
  10. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 25.
  11. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 27.
  12. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 21.
  13. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter XI, Article 134.
  14. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter VIII, Article 100.
  15. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter XII, Article 137.
  16. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chapter II, Article 29.
  17. "Cambodian king,..."
  18. "Cambodia marks..."
  19. "$1 million royal gift..."
  20. "President Xi meets Cambodian king in Beijing" in GB Times
  21. Jeldres, Julio A. (2 April 1999). "Cambodia's Monarchy: The search for the successor". The Phnom Penh Post.
  22. "Constitution of Cambodia 1947" (PDF). 6 May 1947. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  23. "Cambodian Queen is Dead in Peking". The New York Times. 28 April 1975. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
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