Cambodians pay final respects to former king

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Mourners from all over Cambodia gathered in the country's capital on Sunday (February 3, 2013) to pay their last respects to their former King Norodom Sihanouk.

Sihanouk's body will remain in a purpose built crematorium in Phnom Penh until the cremation ceremony on Monday (February 4, 2013).

Sihanouk, once an absolute ruler who freed Cambodia from colonialism before becoming a tragic pawn through decades of turmoil, died in October in a Beijing hospital. He was 89.

Mourners gathered and offered prayers for their former king.

Despite his political flip-flopping, diminished influence and latter years in exile, Sihanouk will be remembered with fondness, as a man groomed to be a puppet of France who defied his colonial masters and tried to prevent a repeat of Cambodia's bloodstained past.

Sihanouk's portrait is commonplace in homes and buildings across the Southeast Asian nation of 14 million people.