Sisavang Phoulivong 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. He was born at Luang Phrabang on 14 July 1885 and his father was Zakarine, King of Luang Phrabang and his mother was Queen Thongsy. He was educated at Lycée Chasseloup-Laubat, Saigon and lÉcole Coloniale and he was known as a playboy king. He had up to 50 children by as many as 15 wives, fourteen of the children died in the Mekong after a boating accident. Luang Phrabang was then a French protectorate within French Indochina and 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 palace for him. Under his kingdom he had united provinces Houaphan,1931, Houakhong, Xiengkhouang and Vientiane,1942, Champassak and Sayboury,1946. He was a supporter of French rule in Laos, and in 1945 he refused to cooperate with Lao nationalists. In April 1946, the French took over again and he was reinstated as king. In 1954 he celebrated his Golden Jubilee, becoming the king in Asia until King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. When he became ill, he made his son Crown Prince Savang Vatthana regent and his son succeeded him on his death in 1959. He was cremated and buried in That Luang in 1961, and during his procession was transported by the royal funeral carriage. Many representatives were at the funeral including Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala. 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
Image: Sisavang Vong roi de Luang Prahang 05362
Sisavang Vong on a Laotian Postage Stamp (1951).
Statue of Sisavang Vong, King of Luang Phrabāng 1904-46, King of Laos 1946–59 (Grounds of the Royal Palace Museum, Luang Phrabāng)