Body of Cambodian ex-king arrives home

The body of Cambodia’s revered former king Norodom Sihanouk arrived back in his homeland on Wednesday as tens of thousands of mourners filled the streets of the capital to pay their last respects.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 17 Oct 2012, 2:44 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:19 PM

An Air China special flight from Beijing transporting the ex-monarch’s coffin landed at Phnom Penh airport, an AFP reporter said.

Sihanouk’s widow Queen Monique emerged from the plane wearing the traditional mourning outfit of a white shirt and black skirt, holding hands with her son King Norodom Sihamoni.

They were followed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior government officials.

Sihanouk’s coffin was brought off the plane and decorated with white flowers, as orange-robed monks began chanting mournful prayers.

The charismatic former monarch, who steered his country through turbulent decades of war, genocide and finally peace, died of a heart attack in Beijing on Monday aged 89, plunging his nation into deep mourning.

A convoy is set to take the coffin straight to the royal palace, where Sihanouk will lie in state for three months.

Tens of thousands of mourners dressed in white shirts and carrying Cambodian flags lined the streets of Phnom Penh to witness the body’s homecoming and pay their last respects to the revered former king.

More news from WORLD