Royal Order of Cambodia

The Royal Order of Cambodia (Khmer: គ្រឿងឥស្សរិយយសព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា; French: Ordre royal du Cambodge) was a colonial order of chivalry of French Cambodia, and is still in use as an order of chivalry in the present-day Kingdom of Cambodia.[1]

Royal Order of Cambodia
Koninklijke Orde van Cambodja.jpg
Star, medal and current Great Ribbon of the Order
Awarded by
Royal arms of Cambodia.svg
King of Cambodia
Established8 February 1864
1864 – 1955 (Order of the French Protectorate of Cambodia)
1908 – present (as Royal Order of Cambodia)
StatusCurrently constituted
SovereignNorodom Sihamoni
  • Knight Grand Cross (GCC)
  • Knight Grand Officer (GOC)
  • Knight Commander (KCC)
  • Officer (OC)
  • Knight (KC)
Next (higher)Grand Order of National Merit
KHM Ordre Royal du Cambodge - Chevalier BAR.svg
Ribbon of the Order



In 1845, the Rattanakosin Kingdom (in present-day Thailand) and Nguyễn dynasty (in present-day Vietnam) established a joint protectorate over the Kingdom of Cambodia. With French support, Cambodia gained independence under King Norodom in 1863, but he had to accept the French protectorate of Cambodia and a strong French interference in the administration of his country.

On 8 February 1864, the king founded the Royal Order of Cambodia as an order of merit with five degrees. After 1896, the French government and the kings of Cambodia each granted themselves the Order of Cambodia. The French president was rightly Grand Cross in the Royal Order of Cambodia. The order served to distinguish civilians and soldiers, subjects of the king or strangers, who had made themselves worthy. In 1896, the order was officially taken up in the French system of colonial orders of chivalry.

For French appointments, the recipient had to be at least 29 years old and enter the Order first as a knight, to be promoted to a higher grade after a certain period. Only officers of the Légion d'honneur could become a commander in the Order and only commanders of the Légion d'honneur could be Commanders or Officers of the Order. Apart from decorations for bravery or merit during foreign campaigns, the French colonial orders also required that a certain number of years had to have been spent in the tropics or overseas to be eligible - in this case, three years in Indochina, preferably in Cambodia. From 1933 the Order was also granted for the organization of exhibitions dedicated to Cambodia and sacred events important to the French colonies. None of these rules applied for grants by the King of Cambodia himself.

The colonial and overseas orders were immediately contingent on the French orders and awarded on ministerial orders. Those awarded it not only had to pay for their own registration and qualifications, but also had to buy their own insignia.[2]


In 1948 France ceased granting the order. Formally it remained a French colonial policy, but it was now only granted by the King of Cambodia. The order has since then been one of the historical orders of France.

On September 1, 1950, the (colonial) French order-system was reformed. The Order of the Star of Anjouan and the Order of the Black Star were formalised as French Overseas Orders. The other three were the "Order of States Associated to the French Union" (French: "Ordre des États de l'Union Française Associés"). In 1955, Cambodia became independent. The order was approved by King Norodom Sihanouk during his government and also granted during his exile in Beijing. The order became dormant in 1975, under the government of Democratic Kampuchea. Following United Nations supported elections in 1993, H.M. King Norodom Sihanouk, was returned to the throne and the Order was reinstituted by Royal Decree No. 1095/01 dated 5 October 1995. This decree was signed by Chea Sim as the King's representative, Norodom Ranariddh, the First Prime Minister and Hun Sen, the Second Prime Minister at the time. A few design changes took place. After the restoration of the Khmer dynasty it remained the highest Cambodian distinction. The original French type crown has been replaced by the Khmer Royal Crown.


Current Knight Grand Cross
Ribbon during the colonial period (1899-1948)
Cross of the Order of Cambodia until 1948

Since 1948Edit

The five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence:

  1.   Maha Sirivaddha (មហាសេរីវឌ្ឍន៍) or Knight Grand Cross (GCC)
  2.   Mahasena (មហាសេនា) or Knight Grand Officer (GOC)
  3.   Dhipadinda (ធិបឌិន្ទ) or Knight Commander (KCC)
  4.   Sena (សេនា) or Knight Officer (OC)
  5.   Assarariddhi (អស្សឫទ្ធិ) or Knight or Chevalier (KC)

Prior to 1948Edit

The five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence:

  1.   Maha Sirivaddha (មហាសេរីវឌ្ឍន៍) or Knight Grand Cross (GCC)
  2.   Mahasena (មហាសេនា) or Knight Grand Officer (GOC)
  3.   Dhipadinda (ធិបឌិន្ទ) or Knight Commander (KCC)
  4.   Sena (សេនា) or Knight Officer (OC)
  5.   Assarariddhi (អស្សឫទ្ធិ) or Knight or Chevalier (KC)


The senior ranks of Knight Grand Cross entitle their members to use the title as post-nominal GCC; Knight Grand Officer, GOC; Knight Commander, KCC.
The lower ranks of Knight Officer use the post-nominal OC; and Knight, KC. Members of all classes of the order are assigned positions in the order of precedence. The highest level of the Knight Grand Cross relates to refinement. Those honored in this way are raised to the personal, non-hereditary status of nobility and henceforth bear the title His or Her Excellence (H.E.). This is prefixed to the full name.[3][4]


The medal of the order comes in many different forms, as a slightly elongated silver or gold star surmounted by a Cambodian crown and with an image of the king's crown and coat of arms in gold on a violet blue background and surrounded by a red circle. The reverse of the medal is left rough. To promote the order if it was awarded by the French, the Cambodian crown was replaced with a European one surmounted by a small cross, and in the early years the order was even awarded without any crown.

The central image on the star of the order is the same as the medal, though the crown is missing and the rays are usually smooth. The star is elongated, with the vertical rays longer than the horizontal rays. The regalia of Knights is in silver, whilst those of the higher grades are gold. The medal and star are equally for civilians and soldiers. The ribbon of the order was originally green with a red border, changing in 1899 to white with an orange border (in the same year the French government changed the colours of the ribbons of all five colonial orders), before reverting to the original black ribbon when it became a purely Cambodian order again.[citation needed]


Year appointed Class Name Post-nominals
1884 Knight Charles Baret KC
1884 Knight François Deuve KC
1884 Knight Hypollite Herménégilde Tell KC
1885 Knight Ernest Deuve KC
1885 Knight Grand Officer Henri Rieunier GOC
1889 Knight Grand Cross Thành Thái GCC
1895 Knight Officer Nikolai Kolomeitsev OC
1896 Knight Henri Mordacq KC
1897 Knight Grand Cross Jean-Baptiste Billot GCC
1898 Knight André Michelin KC
1901 Knight Léon Breton KC
1901 Knight Officer Octave Denis Victor Guillonnet OC
1901 Knight Grand Cross Pakubuwono X GCC
1905 Knight Grand Cross Sisavang Vong[5] GCC
1921 Knight Grand Cross Joseph Joffre GCC
1924 Knight Jean Desbois KC
1929 Knight Grand Cross Jagatjit Singh GCC
1933 Knight Grand Cross Ibrahim of Johor GCC
1941 Knight Grand Cross Norodom Suramarit GCC
1954 Knight Grand Cross Bhumibol Adulyadej GCC
1956 Knight Grand Cross Josip Broz Tito GCC
1956 Knight Grand Cross Antonín Zápotocký GCC
1956 Knight Grand Cross[6] Ramon Magsaysay GCC
1959 Knight Grand Cross Savang Vatthana GCC
1960 Knight Grand Cross Antonín Novotný GCC
1962 Knight Grand Cross Charles de Gaulle GCC
1962 Knight Grand Cross Putra of Perlis GCC
1965 Knight Grand Cross Kim Il Sung[7] GCC
1992 Knight Grand Cross Norodom Ranariddh GCC
2001 Knight Grand Cross Sok An GCC
2002 Knight Grand Cross Sirajuddin of Perlis GCC
2002 Knight Grand Cross Tuanku Tengku Fauziah GCC
2003 Knight Grand Officer Aun Pornmoniroth GOC
2004 Knight Grand Cross Norodom Sihamoni[8][9] GCC
2004 Knight Grand Cross Norodom Monineath GCC
2004 Knight Grand Cross Kim Jong Il[10] GCC
2005 Knight Commander Kazimierz Duchowski KCC
2006 Knight Grand Cross Norodom Arunrasmy GCC
2006 Knight Grand Cross John Sanderson GCC
2007 Knight Grand Cross Chau Sen Cocsal Chhum GCC
2007 Knight Commander Hor Nambora KCC
2008 Knight Grand Officier Bernard Krisher[11] GOC
2011 Knight Grand Cross Hor Namhong GCC
2013 Knight Grand Cross Kao Kim Hourn GCC
2014 Knight Grand Cross Frank Berman[12] GCC
2018 Knight Grand Cross Song Tao (diplomat) GCC
2020 Knight Grand Cross Oknha Na-Mey Ruy[13] GCC
2022 Knight Grand Cross Tengku Fauziah binti Almarhum Tengku Abdul Rashid GCC
2023 Knight Grand Cross Björn Stenvers[14][15] GCC
2023 Knight Grand Cross Sambath Pol GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Emperor Akihito of Japan GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Marcel Alessandri GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Bảo Long GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Bảo Đại GCC
unknown Knight Commander[16] Maryse Bastié KCC
unknown Knight Henri Bellieni[17] KC
unknown Knight Commander Gustave Besnard KCC
unknown Knight Commander Albert Besson KCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Urban Jacob Rasmus Børresen[18] GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Sarin Chhak GCC
unknown Knight Officer Émile Duboc OC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Hamengkubuwono VIII GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Hassan II of Morocco GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Emperor Hirohito of Japan GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Jean de Lattre de Tassigny[19] GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Leopold II of Belgium GCC
unknown Knight Jean-David Levitte KC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Manuel Luis Quezon GCC
unknown Knight Officer Auguste Lumière OC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Raoul Magrin-Vernerey GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Hun Manet GCC
unknown Knight François Marjoulet KC
unknown Knight Grand Officer Boun Oum GOC
unknown Knight Officer Marcel Ribière OC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Willem Rooseboom GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Raoul Salan GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Yōhei Sasakawa GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Vong Savang GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Tea Banh GCC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Jean de Lattre de Tassigny[20] GCC
unknown Knight Officer Mardochée Valabrègue OC
unknown Knight Officer François Zimeray OC
unknown Knight Grand Cross Leopold III of Belgium GCC


  1. ^ "ODM of Cambodia: Royal Order of Cambodia".
  2. ^ Sylvester, J. The Orders and Medals of Cambodia and Laos, 1986: pp. 5-8.
  3. ^ Geoffrey Oldham & Brett Delahunt (2004). "Cambodian Decorations of Honor". Milymen Books. ISBN 9780473097998., pp.17-25.
  4. ^ Stair Sainty, G. World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, 2006: pp.953-954.
  5. ^ Boucard, Adolphe (February 2009). Travels of a Naturalist. ISBN 9781103374984. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  6. ^ "Official Month in Review: February 1956". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. February 1, 1956. Archived from the original on August 25, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020. The Prince presented the President with the Grand Croix de l'Ordre Royal du Cambodge.
  7. ^ News from Hsinhua News Agency: Daily Bulletin. London: Xin hua tong xun she. 1 October 1965. p. 53. OCLC 300956682.
  8. ^ "BIOGRAPHY OF HIS MAJESTY KING NORODOM SIHAMONI OF CAMBODIA". Khmer Times. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  9. ^ "King's Biography". Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  10. ^ "Grand Cross Order of the Kingdom of Cambodia". Korea Today. Vol. 726, no. 12. 2016. ISSN 0454-4072.
  11. ^ "Chutzpahdik philanthropist aids Cambodians". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  12. ^ Sir Frank Berman awarded the Royal Order of Cambodia. University of Oxford (21 April 2014). Retrieved on 30-12-2022.
  13. ^ May Ruoy Receives Royal Medal of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Ras Mei News (5 October 2020). Retrieved on 30-12-2022.
  14. ^ Deputy Prime Minister Chea Sophara for direction 2023 of Tbong Khmum Province. Ministry of Information Cambodian Government (23 March 2023). Retrieved on 24 March 2023.
  15. ^ Recognised with Cambodia's highest honour. Phnom Penh Post (28-3-2023). Retrieved on 28-3-2023.
  16. ^ Jacques Cheymol, Alain Fradet, ibid, p. 80.
  17. ^ Brigitte Caquelin. "Charles Henri GIMEL BELLIENI". Geneanet. Retrieved 28 June 2020..
  18. ^ Amundsen, Otto Delphin. 1947. Den Kongelige norske Sankt Olavs orden 1847-1947. Oslo: Grøndahl & Søn Forlag, p. 73.
  19. ^ FONDATION MARECHAL DE LATTRE. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Biographie de Jean de Lattre de Tassigny". National Order of Liberation. Retrieved 21 July 2019.

External linksEdit