Sisavang Vong was first the King of Luang Prabang and later King of Laos from 1904 to 1959. He was educated in Laos, Saigon and Paris for the duties of a modern monarch. He had around 15 wives and may have had as many as 50 children; which was not uncommon in southeast Asia as a means of ensuring a peaceful and stable succession. His reign saw many changes and modern novelties introduced to Laos and he championed education and progress. In 1954 he celebrated his Golden Jubilee and became the longest reigning monarch in Asia. He died in 1959 in Luang Prabang and was succeeded by his son Savang Vathana. His reign had saw Laos united as a single country, the transition from colony to independence and great strides of social progress. King Sisavang Vong was revered and respected inside Laos and around the world and was honored by the nations of France, Belgium, Vietnam, Benin and Thailand.