1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat

Phnom Penh – November 1967 – With a radiance now as famous in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as it is in Paris, Jacqueline Kennedy, Amer­ica’s unofficial roving ambassador, visited that ancient Asian land to fulfill “a lifelong dream of seeing Angkor Wat,” stone ruins from the romantic Khmer civilization in the 12th Century. 1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat

Arriving at the Chamcar Mon Palace for dinner, Mrs. Kennedy, glowing in a Grecian turquoise gown, smilingly offers her hand to Prince Sihanouk. Behind them, resplendent Royal Guardsmen salute her entrance with yard-long sabers.

She found time to admire Chief of State Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s own jazz compositions, November Blues, as November was the season, and The Evening I Met You, in honor of the occasion. 1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat

The Prince was obviously en­chanted with his beautiful visitor but he insisted he had not changed his opposition to America’s role in Vietnam. Asked why he had named a street for John F. Kennedy in Sihanoukville and not his capital city, he said, “Sihanoukville is very important. It is named after me. Anyway, I have run out of streets in Phnom Penh.”

Out of deference to his guest, who, he said, is “the best ambassadress America could send to Cambodia,” he omitted a paragraph from his Sihanoukville speech that declared that the U.S. would not be fighting in Vietnam if Kenne­dy were still in the White House.

In a later press conference he de­clared that “If America decides to stop the war, America would be­come popular in Asia and President Johnson would regain prestige. Even his hawks could not stop him from becoming an illustrious Presi­dent.”

Mrs. Kennedy’s compan­ions included Lord Harlech, the former Sir David Ormsby-Core, a friend of her late husband, and, in a reference to rumors that link them romantically, the Prince said he would not be shocked if Mrs. Ken­nedy married again. When she de­parted for Bangkok, weary but enchanted with the splendors of Cam­bodia, she thanked the Prince “with all my heart.”

1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat
At the towering ruins of The Bayon temple, near Angkor Wat, Jackie listens to archaeologist Bernard Philippe Groslier, curator of the Angkor monuments. Bernard followed in the footsteps of his father, George Groslier, also a renowned Khmer scholar who was born in Cambodia in 1867.
1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat
Raising toasts at the ceremonious dinner, Prince Sihanouk and his wife Princess Monique stand at Jackie’s left. Cambodian Prime Minister Son Sann is on her other side.
1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat
Jackie listens to Prince Sihanouk praise her late husband John F. Kennedy.
1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat
Jackie smilingly acknowledges his tribute with a simple “thank you.”
1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat
In a reception room at the palace, Prince Sihanouk and Princess Monique presented Jackie with an elaborately filigreed silver tray, finger bowls and plates. He also gave her records of his musical compositions. One of Jackie’s presents to them was a leather-bound copy of President Kennedy’s “The Strategy of Peace.”
1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat
Jacqueline Kennedy, Queen Sisowath Kossamak Nearyroth Sereivathana and Prince Norodom Sihanouk at the Royal Palace in November 1967.

 1967 Jacqueline Kennedy Visits Cambodia and Angkor Wat

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