Savang Vatthana

Savang Vatthana

Infobox Monarch
name =King Savang Vatthana
title =King of the Kingdom of Laos

caption =
reign =29 October, 19592 December, 1975
coronation =
predecessor =Sisavang Vong
successor =Pathet Lao took over in 1975
heir =
consort =Queen Khamphoui
issue =Crown Prince Vong Savang
Prince Sauryavong Savang
Prince Sisavang Savang
Prince Savang
Princess Savivanh Savang Princess Thala Savang
othertitles = HM King Sri Savang Vatthana
royal house =Khun Lo Dynasty
royal anthem =
father =Sisavang Vong
mother =Kham-Oun I
date of birth =birth date|1907|11|13|df=y
place of birth =Luang Phrabang, Laos
date of death =13 May?, 1978 or as late as 1984
place of death =Sam-Neua, Laos
buried =|

Savang or Sisavang Vatthana "(full name Samdach Brhat Chao Mavattaha Sri Vitha Lan Xang Hom Khao Phra Rajanachakra Lao Parama Sidha Khattiya Suriya Varman Brhat Maha Sri Savangsa Vadhana)" (13 November, 190713 May ("?"), 1978; or perhaps as late as 1984) was the last king of the Kingdom of Laos. He ruled from 1959 after his father's death, until his forced abdication in 1975. Savang Vatthana proved unable to manage a country in political turmoil. His rule ended with the takeover of the Pathet Lao in 1975, after which he and his family were sent to a re-education camp by the Pathet Lao.

Early life

Prince Savang Vatthana was born on 13 November 1907 at the Royal Palace of Luang Prabang, the son of King Sisavang Vong and Queen Kham-Oun I. He was the second of five children, the others being Princess Sammathi, Prince Sayasack, Prince Souphantharangsri and the oldest princess Khampheng. He was also a distant cousin of Prince Souvanna Phouma and Prince Souphanouvong. At the age of 10, Prince Savang was sent to study in France. He attended a lycée in Montpellier, got a degree from Paris's École Libre des Sciences Politiques (now called Sciences Po), where French diplomats were trained. After graduating from school, the young heir continued his studies in France. After a decade, Savang Vatthana returned but he no longer could speak Lao, and had to be instructed by a palace functionary for years.

On August 7, 1930, he married Queen Khamphoui and they had six children, Crown Prince Vong Savang, Prince Sisavang Savang,Prince Savang,Prince Sauryavong Savang, Princess Savivanh Savang, and Princess Thala Savang. Like other Asian royal families, the family played tennis together, and liked to attend major tournaments on their travels abroad. He was also a devout Buddhist and became an authority on the "sangkha" and took his role as protector of the state religion seriously.

During World War II, he represented his father with the Japanese forces. His father sent him to the Japanese headquarters in Saigon, where he vigorously protested the Japanese actions, when they invaded Laos and forced them to declare independence from France.

King of Laos

In 1951, he served as Prime Minister, and when his father became ill on August 20, 1959, he was named Regent. On October 29, 1959, he informally ascended the throne upon the death of his father. He was, however, never officially crowned and anointed king, deferring his coronation until the cessation of civil war. During his reign, Savang Vatthana visited many countries on diplomatic missions. In March 1963, he toured 13 countries, including the United States, where he stopped at Washington, D.C. to meet with President Kennedy. It was the second stop on a tour of 13 of the nations signatory to the Geneva Pact that guaranteed the "neutrality" of the Kingdom of Laos. The first stop had been Moscow, and the Russians showered gifts, including slick Chaika limousines. He was also accompanied by his Prime Minister, Souvanna Phouma. infobox hrhstyles

royal name=King of Laos
dipstyle=His Majesty
offstyle=His Royal Majesty

He was active in Lao politics, trying to stabilise his country after the political turmoil started with the Geneva Conference of July 1954, which granted full independence to Laos but did not settle the issue of who would rule. Prince Souvanna Phouma, a neutralist, operated from Vientiane, claiming to be Prime Minister and being recognized by the Russians; Prince Boun Oum of Champassak in the south, right-wing, pro-US, dominated the Pakse area, recognized as Prime Minister by the US; and in the far north, Prince Souphanouvong led the leftist resistance movement, the Pathet Lao, drawing support from North Vietnam, also claiming to be Prime Minister with the backing of the communists. To avoid argument over whether Souvanna or Boun Oum was the "legitimate" Prime Minister, both sides would deal through the pro-western King Savang Vatthana. In 1961, a majority of the National Assembly had already voted Boun Oum into power and King Savang Vatthana left Luang Prabang, visiting the capital to give the new government his blessing. But he wanted the Three Princes to form a coalition government, which happened in 1962 but collapsed. In 1964 series of coups and counter coups resulted in the final alignment of the Pathet Lao on one side with the neutralist and right wing factions on the other. From this point the Pathet Lao refused to join any offers of coalition or national elections.

Abdication and death

On 2 December 1975 he was forced to abdicate the throne after the communist revolution, and later was appointed supreme advisor to the President. He refused to leave the country. In March 1977, he was arrested with the Queen, Crown Prince Vong Savang, Prince Sisavang, and his brothers Princes Souphantharangsri and Thongsouk. He was put into an internment camp Sam-Neua in northern Laos. It was called "Camp Number One", where all the important political prisoners were held. During his time in the camp, the royal family was allowed to move freely around in their compounds during the day. He was the oldest prisoner in the camp, turning 70 during the earlier months of imprisonment, the average age being around 55. ["Bamboo Palace", Kremmer . 2003, p. 1989. accessed on May 10, 2008.]

About 1978, it was reported that he, along with Queen Khamphoui and Crown Prince Vong Savang, had died. Upon the news of the deaths of King Savang Vatthana and Crown Prince Vong Savang, the King's youngest son Sauryavong Savang became the head of the Laotian royal family, acting as regent to his nephew Crown Prince Soulivong Savang. However, according to Kaysone Phomvihane, Vatthana would have died in 1984, at the age of 77. ["Laos " Le roi est mort ", Le Monde. 16 December 1989, p. 7. accessed on October 8, 2006.]


The children of Savang Vatthana and Khumphoui as follows:


* "I will be with my people to face this problem together to the end regardless of what will happen to me."
* "Alas, I am destined to be the last king of Laos."
* "We Lao, we are also Thai, but we don't want to become Siamese."

ee also

*Prince Sisavang Vong
*Monarchs of Laos
*Pathet Lao
*Kingdom of Laos
*Soth Phetrasy
*Laotian Royal Family


External links

* [ Laos - "Seminar Camps" And The Death Of King Savang Vatthana]
* [ Photographs of Royal Family of Laos]
* [ Biography of King Sauryavong Savang (French)]
* [ Death of King Savang Vatthana reported]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Savang Vatthana — Savang Vatthana, vollständig: Boroma Setha Khatya Sourya Vongsa Phra Maha Sri Savang Vatthana (* 13. November 1907 in Luang Prabang; † wahrscheinlich 1978) war von 1959 bis 1975 der letzte König des Königreichs von Laos. Er trat 1959 die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Savang Vatthana — (né à Luang Prabang le 13 novembre 1907 et mort le 13 mai 1978). Il fut le dernier roi du Laos, du 29 octobre 1959 au 1er décembre 1975. Il fut renversé par le mouvement communiste de Pathet Lao qui prit le pouvoir. Le 7 août 1930, il épouse la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Savang Vatthana — (1907 1989 [?]) roi du Laos (1959 1975). Dernier souverain du pays, il succéda à son père Sisavang Vong et dut abdiquer le 2 déc. 1975 lorsque la rép. démocratique populaire du Laos fut proclamée (V. dossier Laos, p. 1459) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Savang — ist der Name folgender Personen: Savang Vadhana, thailändische Königin Savang Vatthana (1907–1978), letzter König von Laos Sauryavong Savang (* 1937), Prinz von Laos Savivanh Savang (1933–2007), Prinzessin von Laos Soulivong Savang (* 1963),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Vong Savang — Infobox Monarch|royal name =Vong Savang title =Crown Prince of Laos caption = othertitles = The Crown Prince of Laos full name =Vong Savang spouse =Princess Mahneelai issue =Prince Soulivong Savang Prince Thayavong Savang Princess Manisophana… …   Wikipedia

  • Soulivong Savang — Crown Prince Soulivong Savang (born May 8, 1963), grandson of the last King of Laos Savang Vatthana, is the pretender to the Lao throne. Laos was a constitutional monarchy until 1975, when the communist Pathet Lao seized control of the nation and …   Wikipedia

  • Sauryavong Savang — Prince Sauryavong Savang (born 22 January 1937) is the youngest son of King Savang Vatthana of Laos, who was murdered by Communists. In 1965, he married Princess Dalavan and they have four children, Sthira Sauryavong, Dayavant Sauryavong,… …   Wikipedia

  • Soulivong Savang — Le prince Soulivong Savang, né en 1963, est l héritier du trône du Laos. Sauryavong Savang, le plus jeune fils de Savang Vatthana dernier roi du Laos, devient régent du royaume et président de la famille royale en exil en son nom. Portail de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Savivanh Savang — Princess Savivanh Savang Manivong (1933 4 January 2007, Nice) was the daughter of King Savang Vatthana and Queen Khamphoui. She was educated in Luang Prabang, France, and England, the princess served in the court of her father, the King of Laos,… …   Wikipedia

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