Julio A. Jeldres
Ambassador Julio Armando Jeldres (b. 1 Dec. 1950, Santiago de Chile) was a teenager in faraway Chile when, in 1967, he wrote directly to the King Palace of Cambodia wanting to know more about the fascinating Kingdom at the other end of the world. An epistolary relationship started, until the young Chilean met with King Norodom Sihanouk in Pyongyang at the start of the 1990s, becoming His Majesty's personal secretary from 1981 to 1991, and Official Biographer since 1993.
With a PhD in History from Monash University (2015), Julio Jeldres authored in 2003, amongst several books and essays, "The Royal House of Cambodia", a reference on all things royal in Cambodia. An updated edition was released in January 2018. Since 2013, he serves as a Counsellor to the Cabinet of HM King Sihamoni with rank of Minister of State, and remains a close adviser to HM the Queen Mother Norodom Monineath.
A specialist in the history of Cambodia's diplomacy, he has studied the development of the Cambodian stance on neutrality and non-alignment, and authored an insightful study on the special relationship between the late King Norodom Sihanouk and and China's Foreign Minister Zhou En Lai.
A Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Phnom Penh Sleuk Rith Institute of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, Ambassador Jeldres contributed to the installation of the Queen Mother's Library at the Royal Palace, which opened in 2021 (open to the public since June 2022).
In June 2022, Julio Jeldres honored Angkor Database by donating part of his personal book collection and archive to ADB library in Siem Reap.
A portrait by Loeung Yongsoeng, 2021
Read a bioportrait by Brent Crane in The Phnom Penh Post (2016), 'Sihanouk and the Teen from Santiago'.