PHNOM PENH, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The body of Cambodia's most revered ex-King Norodom Sihanouk arrived here from Beijing on Wednesday afternoon as the country officially began a week of mourning.
Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, former Queen Norodom Monineath, and Prime Minister Hun Sen brought home the former King's body. Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo also escorted the coffin to Cambodia.
At a traditional ceremony at the Phnom Penh International Airport, 90 Buddhist monks chanted to pray for the soul of the deceased King-Father before the convoy transported the ex-King's body to the Royal Palace, Chea Kean, deputy president of the Committee for Organizing National and International Festivals, told reporters.
He said that over 100,000 Cambodian mourners flanked the 10-km road from the Phnom Penh International Airport to the Royal Palace in order to pay respect to the former King's body.
Former King Norodom Sihanouk died on early Monday due to natural causes at the age of 90 in China's Beijing Hospital, according to a Cambodian government statement.
He suffered from various forms of cancer, diabetes and hypertension and had been treated by Chinese doctors in Beijing for years before his death.
The government announced Monday that the official mourning for the King-Father will be held for a week from Oct. 17 to 23 and all flags are flying at half-mast.
During the period, all forms of entertainment are prohibited.
The King-Father's body will be lying in state for at least three months at the Royal Palace before it is cremated.
Sihanouk reigned Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his voluntary abdication on Oct. 7, 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni.