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Phnom Penh – The Cambodian government announced Monday that the country will hold one day of mourning to mark the passing of Princess Buppha Devi.
According to a circular signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, Wednesday is to be an official day of mourning across the country. All flags are to fly half-mast to pay homage to the princess who died of illness Monday in Thailand.
“During mourning, all state-owned radio and television stations as well as private-owned ones must suspend broadcasting all joyful performances, and concerts," the circular read.
Princess Buppha Devi was the eldest living child of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, and the half-sister to King Norodom Sihamoni. She was born on January 8, 1943, to King Sihanouk’s wife, Phat Kanhol.
At five, the princess began studying Khmer classical ballet under teachers brought in by her grandmother Queen Sisowath Kossamak, who was King Sihanouk’s mother.
She became a Khmer classical dancer in the Royal Ballet at 18 and taught classical dance between 1960 and 1970, sometimes performing before foreign leaders visiting Cambodia.
During the Khmer Rouge regime, she first took refuge in Thailand and then moved to France.
Princess Buppha Devi returned to Cambodia after the Paris Peace Agreement of 1991. She served as senior government advisor from 1993 to 1996. She was later appointed minister of culture and fine arts, a position she held until 2004. A senator until 2016, she served in the Privy Council and was a member of Constitutional Council.
Princess Buphha Devi’s funeral is held at the Buddhist pagoda Wat Botum in the center of Phnom Penh in accordance with national and royal traditions, the Royal Palace announced Monday.