Cambodia Celebrates the Birthday of King Norodom Sihamoni 

King Norodom Sihamoni. Official photo from  
  • Phoung Vantha
  • May 14, 2020 9:10 AM

Government officials and foreign diplomats convey their best wishes to the King 

PHNOM PENH—Cambodia Thursday (May 14) marked with a national holiday the anniversary of King Norodom Sihamoni. 

Throughout the day, the King received messages from government officials expressing their best wishes on the occasion of this birthday. 

One message was sent by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “May His Majesty be blessed with the four sublime blessings of Lord Buddha—longevity, good health, great happiness and wisdom—to live in the shade of peace and tranquility for all generations,” the prime minister wrote. 

King Sihamoni, who had been in China for several weeks with his mother Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, returned to the country on May 11 to celebrate his birthday in Cambodia.

Born in Phnom Penh on May 14, 1953, King Sihamoni spent 13 years studying in the Czech Republic—then called Czechoslovakia—leaving at 22 years old after graduating from the Academy of Performing Arts in 1975. He had meant to pursue his studies but ended up a prisoner in the royal palace with his parents, the late King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Monineath, during the Khmer Rouge regime. 

A Western classical dancer and choreographer, in the 1980s King Sihamoni lived in Paris where he taught dance at two conservatories; created and managed the dance company “Deva;” and served as president of France’s Khmer dance association.

In 1992, he represented Cambodia at the United Nations in New York, and in 1993 became Cambodia’s ambassador to Unesco in Paris.  He was crowned in October 2004 when King Sihanouk decided to step down from the throne. The king speaks Khmer, French, Czech and English. 

On May 14, embassies in Cambodia also conveyed their best wishes to King Sihamoni.

“I wish His Majesty good health, longevity, and happiness,” Japanese Ambasador Mikami Masahiro said in his message. 

US Ambassador Patrick Murphy wrote that he “on behalf of the entire U.S. Embassy, extends his best wishes for health and happiness. Happy Birthday, Your Majesty.” 



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