LAOS: The Long Reign

During all his 55 years on the throne—the longest reign of any living monarch —it sometimes seemed as if King Sisavang Vong of Laos had found a way to survive history simply by ignoring it. He never openly fought for independence from the French, but instead of earning the resentment of his people, he won only greater affection. When the French urged him to take a firmer stand against the Japanese in World War II, he patiently explained: "My people do not know how to fight; they only know how to sing and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!