The then Prince Norodom Sihamoni became King of Cambodia on October 4, 2004, following the abdication of his father, Norodom Sihanouk. Sihamoni’s name comes from his parents’ names Sihanouk and Monineath. Born on May 14, 1953, in Phnom Penh, Sihamoni was barely six months old when Cambodia gained independence from France on November 9, 1953. Read along to learn about the banknotes king Sihamoni is featured on.
Sihamoni’s Younger Years
From a young age, the prince demonstrated his flair for the arts. He stara in the film “The Little Prince” which his father is actually a producer of. Sihamoni studied dance, music, and theatre at the National Conservatory and the Academy of Music Arts in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s. He also attended film school in North Korea in 1975. In 1981, he became a classical dance professor in Paris and even formed the Ballet Deva, his own dance troupe.
Before being elected as king by the Royal Council of the Throne, Sihamoni became his country’s permanent representative to UNESCO. Reluctant to become monarch, Sihamoni took the role after garnering a unanimous vote of approval by the nine members of the council.
King Norodom Sihamoni on Banknotes
Some Cambodian Riel banknotes are issued in honor of King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday. For example the 100,000-riel note from 2012 which features portraits of his parents on the obverse side. In addition to the king himself along with his parents on the reverse side. The Cambodia 50,000 Riel banknote also comes out in 2013 in time for his 61st birthday. This banknote portrays his father King Norodom Sihanouk on the obverse and the Koh Ker ruins and an elephant on the reverse. In 2017, a 20,000 riel banknote that commemorate the king’s 65th birthday begins to circulate. It features his portrait on the note’s obverse and on the watermark. King Norodom Sihamoni also appears on the obverse of the 500-riel banknote issued by the National Bank of Cambodia in 2014.