Laos: At the King's Knee

After more than a year of evasion, dispute and disagreement, the kingdom of Laos last week finally had its new coalition government.

The Cabinet ministers involved raced through the investiture ceremonies like men on roller skates. Prince Souvanna Phouma, his halfbrother, Red Prince Souphanouvong, and the outgoing Premier, Prince Boun Oum, drove to the royal palace in Vientiane. Brought before recluse King Savang Vatthana, all three princes—including the Communist, Souphanouvong—bowed low, reverently touched the King's knee, and formally announced their success in creating a government.

Next, Souvanna presented his 19-man Cabinet to...

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!