Ang Duong

Ang Duong

Wax sculpture at the Cambodian Cultural Village.
King of Cambodia
Reign 1840 – 19 October 1860
Coronation 7 March 1848
Predecessor Ang Mey
Successor Norodom
Born 12 June 1796
Oudong, Cambodia
Died 19 October 1860(1860-10-19) (aged 64)
Oudong, Cambodia
Spouse 38 wives[1]
Issue Norodom
Si Votha
Full name
Preah Hirak Rama Thipadei Ang Duong
Father Ang Eng
Religion Buddhism

Ang Duong (Khmer: ព្រះបាទ អង្គ ឌួង, Khmer pronunciation: [ʔɑŋ duəŋ]) (12 June 1796 – 19 October 1860) (r. 1841–1844, 1845–1860) was a king of Cambodia. His official title is Preah Raja Samdach Preah Hariraksha Rama Suriya Maha Isvara Adipati.


Ang Duong was a younger son of king Ang Eng, who from 1779–1797 was ruler of Cambodia at the then capital Oudong, by one of his Thai consorts, Ros, 'queen Vara' (died c. 1869), whom he had taken as concubine in 1793 from Bangkok.

King Ang Duong was the father of King Norodom (1834–1904) and King Sisowath (1840–1927). He is the great-great-grandfather of king Sihanouk.


He is regarded as the Great-King of Cambodia who both protected the country from invasion and steered it away from poverty. He lived in Bangkok for 27 years from the age of 16 until he was 43. In 1814, King Ang Duong worked as both a poet and classical writer of Cambodian literature in Bangkok. He translated the Cambodian verse Vorvong & Sorvong to the Thai language as a birthday gift for Crown Prince Mongkut. In 1843, King Ang Duong was crowned King of Cambodia, and returned to Oudong.

Political background

Stupa of Ang Duong.

During the reign of King Ang Duong Cambodia was in danger of being swallowed by its two powerful neighbors, Vietnam and Siam. In order to protect Cambodia from being absorbed by Vietnam and Siam, King Ang Duong secretly began to make contacts for protection with the French authority based in Asia. King Ang Duong's action paved the way for France to establish a French Protectorate in 1863 which lasted for 90 years. Preah Bat Ang Duong was responsible for Cambodia becoming a French protectorate but he died three years before the establishment of the protectorate, which occurred during the reign of his elder son, King Norodom.

There has been much debate over the wisdom of his action. However, due to the circumstances of the time, Preah Bat Ang Duong had probably made the right decision, since the Khmer ancient culture and customs were under threat of being quashed, and the country would be swallowed altogether, had Cambodia come under the control of the Siamese and the Vietnamese. Although by becoming a French protectorate it would mean that Cambodia had virtually lost her independence and the French rule caused many hardships for the Cambodian people, the Protectorate had ensured Cambodia's survival to this present day. Under the French Protectorate, although losing her independence, Cambodia was able to preserve its identity, culture, traditions and ways of life which would have been otherwise destroyed by the Vietnamese and the Siamese had he chosen to remain a vassalage state to both these countries.

See also



External links

Ang Duong
Born: 12 June 1796 Died: 19 October 1860
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ang Mey
King of Cambodia

1840 – 1859
Succeeded by

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