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Sisavang Phoulivong (or Sisavangvong, Lao: ພຣະບາທສົມເດັຈພຣະເຈົ້າມະຫາຊີວິຕສີສວ່າງວົງສ໌) (14 July 1885 – 29 October 1959) was king of the Kingdom of Luang Phrabang and later the Kingdom of Laos from 28 April 1904 until his death on 29 October 1959.

Sisavang Phoulivong
Sisavang Vong roi de Luang Prahang 05362.jpg
King of Luang Phrabang
Reign28 April 1904 – 20 October 1945
SuccessorAs King of Kingdom of Laos
King of Laos
Reign23 April 1946 – 29 October 1959
PredecessorPosition created
SuccessorSisavang Vatthana
Born(1885-07-14)14 July 1885
Luang Phrabang
Died29 October 1959(1959-10-29) (aged 74)
Luang Phrabang, Laos
SpousePrincess Kham-Oun I
Princess Khamtouane of Luang Prabang
Princess Kamaduni
Princess Indrakama
Princess Kamuni
Princess Khamphoui
HouseLuang Phrabang


Early lifeEdit

Sisavang Vong on a Laotian Postage Stamp (1951).

He was born at Luang Phrabang on 14 July 1885. His father was Zakarine, King of Luang Phrabang and his mother was Queen Thongsy. He was educated at Lycée Chasseloup-Laubat, Saigon and l'École Coloniale, Paris. He was known as a "playboy" king. He had up to 50 children by as many as 15 wives, two of whom were his half sisters[1] and one of whom was a niece. Fourteen of the children died in the Mekong after a boating accident.

His wives included:

King of LaosEdit

He succeeded his father as King of Luang Prabang after the death of his father, 25 March 1904. Luang Phrabang was then a French protectorate within French Indochina. He ascended the throne, at the old Royal Palace, Luang Prabang, 15 April 1904, and was crowned there, 4 March 1905. During the early years of his reign, the French built a modern palace for him, the Royal Palace of Luang Prabang for his use of residence. Under his kingdom he had united provinces Houaphan, 1931; Houakhong; Xiengkhouang and Vientiane, 1942; Champassak and Sayboury, 1946.

He was a lifelong supporter of French rule in Laos, and in 1945 he refused to cooperate with Lao nationalists and he was deposed when the Lao Issara declared the country independent. In April 1946, the French took over once again and he was reinstated as king (the first time a Lao monarch actually ruled all of what is today called Laos).

Statue of Sisavang Vong, King of Luang Phrabāng 1904-46, King of Laos 1946–59 (Grounds of the Royal Palace Museum, Luang Phrabāng)

Upon Sisavang Vong’s death in 1959, he had ruled Laos for 55 years. He became one of the longest-reigning kings in Asia (the longest being King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who surpassed his reign in length in 2001.)

When he became ill, he made his son Crown Prince Savang Vatthana regent. His son succeeded him on his death in 1959.[2] He was cremated and buried in That Luang in 1961, and during his funeral procession was transported by the royal funeral carriage, a 12-metre-high wooden hearse with a carved seven-headed serpent. Many representatives were at the state funeral including Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala, who represented Thailand.

Sisavangvong University was named in his honour, but was abolished in 1975 when the communists took power in Laos.

Because he presided over independence from the French Union, statues of him survived the communist revolution and remain in Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Both statues depict him in the act of bestowing a constitution upon the people.


See alsoEdit


Sisavang Vong
Born: 14 July 1885 Died: 29 October 1959
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Laos
28 April 1904 – 20 October 1945
Succeeded by
Independence from France
Phetsarath Rattanavongsa as de facto head of state
Preceded by
Independence from France
Phetsarath Rattanavongsa
King of Laos
23 April 1946 – 29 October 1959
Succeeded by
Sisavang Vatthana