King Sihanouk: the Inauguration of a Political Switch

This article highlights the history of the decisions and intentions behind Admiral Decoux of the French colonists appointing Prince Norodom Sihanouk on the Cambodian throne in 1941. [1]

At the time Prince Sihanouk was placed in power, the French intended for him to subside to the French protectorate, given his young age at the time and seemingly lack of interest in the political affairs. The French expected Prince Sihanouk to be easily manipulated and act in accordance with the political plans the French had already established in Cambodia. However, after World War II, Sihanouk unexpectedly took on more interest and engagement with the political affairs, intending to fully regain governance over Cambodia. With the support from elder members of the Cambodian monarchy, the royal family was eventually able to regain independence and begin the redevelopment of Cambodia as a whole.


  1. Osborne, Milton E. “Beyond Charisma: Princely Politics and the Problem of Political Succession in Cambodia.” International Journal 24, no. 1 (1968): 109-21. doi:10.2307/40199977.

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