Norodom Buppha Devi

Norodom Buppha Devi (Khmer: នរោត្តម បុប្ផាទេវី [nɔroːˈɗɑm ɓopˈpʰaː teːʋiː]; 8 January 1943 – 18 November 2019)[1] was a Cambodian princess, dancer, director of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia,[2] senator, and Minister of Culture and Fine Arts. She was the daughter of Norodom Sihanouk and the late Neak Moneang Phat Kanhol, the elder sister of Prince Norodom Ranariddh, and a half-sibling of the current King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihamoni. Her official title was Her Royal Highness Samdech Reach Botrei Preah Ream Norodom Buppha Devi (Khmer: សម្តេចរាជបុត្រីព្រះរៀមនរោត្តម បុប្ផាទេវី).

Norodom Buppha Devi
BupphaDeviDancing crop.jpg
Princess Buppha Devi in 1965
Minister of Culture and Fine Arts
In office30 November 1998 – 15 July 2004
Prime MinisterHun Sen
Born(1943-01-08)8 January 1943
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, French Indochina
Died18 November 2019(2019-11-18) (aged 76)
Bangkok, Thailand
IssueSisowath Moni Kossoma
Sisowath Kalyan Tevi
Norodom Chansita
Sisowath Chivannariddh
Sisowath Veakchiravuddh
FatherNorodom Sihanouk
MotherPhat Kanhol
ReligionTheravada Buddhism
Styles of
Norodom Buppha Devi
Royal arms of Cambodia.svg
Reference styleHer Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Royal Highness
Alternative styleMadam


Buppha Devi derives from Pali words puppha (បុប្ផា), meaning flower, and devi (ទេវី), meaning goddess. The name is also romanised as "Bopha Devi" or "Bophadevi".

Life and careerEdit

Princess Buppha Devi and her half-brother Norodom Sihamoni receiving a bouquet of flowers from US Senator Mike Mansfield, 1969.

Buppha Devi finished her high school education at Lycée Preah Norodom in Phnom Penh. As a young princess, her grandmother, Queen Sisowath Kossamak, chose her to become a dancer early in her life.[3] At the age of 15, she became the premier dancer of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia. At the age of 18, she was granted the title of prima ballerina.[4]

She then toured the world as the principal dancer of the Royal Ballet with Queen Kossamak, performing in public. In the past the ballet had been performed only before royalty to commemorate their dynastic ancestors and to honour the gods. For her dancing ability, her father Norodom Sihanouk cast her in his first feature-length film Apsara in 1966.

Buppha Devi served as Deputy Minister of Culture and Fine Arts from 1991–1993, she was advisor to the Royal Government in charge of Culture and Fine Arts from 1993–1998, she was Vice President of the Cambodian Red Cross from 1993–1997, she was President of the Cambodian-Chinese Association in the year 2000, and served in Prime Minister Hun Sen's cabinet as the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts from 1998–2004.

Personal lifeEdit

Buppha Devi married her first husband in 1959 at the age of fifteen. Her four total marriages produced five children:

1) Norodom Norinractevong

2) Sisowath Monichivann

  • Princess Sisowath Moni Kossoma (born 1960)
  • Princess Sisowath Kalyan Tevi (born 1961)

3) Bruno Jacques Forsinetti

  • Keo Chansita Forsinetti (born 1965). She is now known as Norodom Chansita

4) Sisowath Chivanmonirak

  • Prince Sisowath Chivannariddh (born 1968)
  • Prince Sisowath Veakchiravuddh (born 1973)


  1. ^ "Princess Buppha Devi dies at 76". 18 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Inside Cambodia's royal ballet". Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  3. ^ "A princess brings Cambodian ballet to the masses, and Hong Kong". South China Morning Post. 3 September 2017.
  4. ^ Milton Osborne, Sihanouk, Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness. Silkworm 1994

External linksEdit