Reverberations continue from the U.S. to the U.K., after Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah about her suffering in the royal family. Markle shared the extent to which palace officials controlled her, even when it had to do with her mental health. Someone who understands what Markle’s journey and rebellion against convention is a Cambodian princess who grew up in California.
Princess Soma Norodom came to the U.S. at age five, in the first wave of refugees to flee after the Khmer Rouge took power. Princess Soma’s father was the third cousin to the King, hence in the line of succession. She grew up thoroughly American, playing sports, doing cheerleading, attending Fresno State University, becoming a radio show host, journalist and marketing professional.
But in 2010, as her father was dying, Soma wanted to fulfill his wish, and returned to Cambodia to care for him and claim her birthright, as princess.
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The American-raised princess soon found herself at odds with palace officials. She wrote a column for a local newspaper, revealing the drama inside the royal family an the extent to which the government controlled the monarchy.
Soon dubbed a heretic, Princess Soma was charged with insurrection and had to flee Cambodia.