The Passing Of Prince Sauryavong Savang, The Youngest And Last Child Of King Sisavanbg Vatthana

By Kou Yang, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Stanislaus

Prince Sauryavong Savang (ສະເດັດເຈົ້າ ໂສຣິຍະວົງ ສະວ່າງ) passed away in France on January 2, 2018 at the age of 79, 20 days short of his 80th birthday. His funeral was held in France on Sunday, January 7, 2018. Prince Sauryavong Savang married Princess Dalavan (Panya) in 1965, and they have four children: Suthira Sauryavong, Dayavanth Sauryavong, Balavant Sauryavong, and Krishnajina Sauryavong. Princess Daravan is the eldest daughter of Prince Rattana Panya and Princess Khamla Panya. Prince Rattana Panya, a half-brother of King Sisavang Vatthana, was the Governor of Sayaboury from the late 1950s to 1969). He passed away in France in 2005. Prince Sauryavong Savang, the youngest and last of the five children of King Sisavang Vatthana and Queen Khamphoui, was the Head or Acting Regent of the White Parasol Royal House (of Luang Phrabang). As an Acting Regent of the royal house, he often attended social, cultural and religious events in France, and has visited the United States many times. In line to take the leadership of the royal house is Prince Soulivong Savang (ເຈົ້າຊາຍ ສຸລິວົງ ສະວ່າງ), the elder son of Crown Prince Vong Savang (September 1931-1978) and Crown Princess Manilai (Panya). Prince Soulivong Savang (b. May 8, 1963) is the oldest of seven children born to Crown Prince Vong Savang (ສົມເດັດ ເຈົ້າຟ້າຊາຍ ວົງສະວ່າງ ອົງມຸກຸດຣາຊກຸມານ) and Crown Princess Manilai (ເຈົ້າຟ້າຍີງມະນີໄລ). His younger siblings are 1) Thanyavong Savang (b. 1964), 2) Manisophana Savang (b. 1965), 3) Sawee Nahlee Savang (b. 1967), 4) Kiranvong Savang (b. 1969), 5) Manilama (b. 1976), and 6) Anourathavarman Savang (b. 1978). Prince Soulivong Savang married Princess Chansouk Soukthala in 2007, and they live in France.

King Sisavang Vatthana (ສົມເດັດ ພຣະເຈົ້າມະຫາຊີວິດ ສີສວ່າງ ວັດທະນາ), the second and last king of the Kingdom of Laos, and Queen Khamphoui (ພຣະອັດຄະມະເຫສີ ເຈົ້າຍິງຄຳຜຸຍ) had five children: three sons and two daughters. The oldest son, as mentioned above, is Crown Prince Vong Savang (1931-1978). Their four other children are: Princess Savivanh (1933-2007), Prince Sisavang (1935-1978, Princess Thala (1936-2006), and Prince Sauryavong Savang (1937-2018). King Sisavang Vatthana (1907-1978) was the first son and second child of five children born to King Sisavang Vong (ສົມເດັດ ພຣະເຈົ້າມະຫາຊີວິດ ສີສະວ່າງວົງ) and Queen Kham Ouan I (ພຣະອັດຄະມະເຫສີ ເຈົ້າຍິງຄຳອ້ວນ I). King Sisavang Vong (1885-1959), the first King of the Kingdom of Laos, was the King of Luang Phrabang Kingdom from 1904 to 1945 and then King of the Kingdom of Laos from 1946 to 1959. The Kingdom of Laos, which includes the Kingdoms of Champassack, Vientiane and Phuan, was established after World War II, when France promised independence to Laos. The Franco-Laos convention in 1949 granted Laos autonomy within the French union, and in 1954, the Kingdom of Laos eventually became independence from France.

The Khun Lo (ຂູນລໍ) Dynasty, which is believed to rule the territory known today as Laos for at least 6 centuries, ended in 1975, when King Sisavang Vatthana was forced to abdicate the throne before the proclamation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) on December 2, 1975. King Sisavang Vatthana along with Queen Khamphoui (1912-1982?) and Crown Prince Vong Savang were sent to re-education camp in Sam Neua, Northeast of Laos; reportedly the King and Crown Prince died there in 1978, and the Queen died there in 1982. Crown Princess Manilai or Mahneelai (1941-) remains in Luang Phrabang, Laos, to this day.