He was a feudal-style monarch who called himself a democrat. He was beloved by his people but was seldom able to deliver the stability they craved through decades of violence.
Sihanouk abdicated the throne in 2004, citing his poor health. Crowned at the age of 19, he had befriended independent India’s leaders. He first visited Delhi in May 1956. He again came to India in 1963, a year after the Sino-Indian war, and praised Jawaharlal Nehru, whose fortunes were on the decline.
State flags flew at half-staff, and Cambodian government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said an official funeral will be held once the former king’s body is repatriated. “I don't know much about politics, but the king father was really a good leader and cared about his county and people,” Yos Sekchantha said as tears welled in her eyes.