The relatively unknown son of the abdicating king of Cambodia will be the country's next monarch.

Prince Norodom Sihamoni was approved on Thursday following a 30-minute meeting of the kingdom's nine-member Throne Council.

His father, the ailing King Norodom Sihanouk, shocked his kingdom last week when he announced his abdication from the position he has held on and off for more than 60 years.

Sihamoni, 51, has been a classical ballet dancer and, most recently, Cambodia's ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

A coronation ceremony will take place on Oct. 29.

Under Cambodia's 1993 constitution, King Sihanouk's successor must be at least 30 years old and come from one of three royal lineages.

Prince Sihamoni won his father's strong support as well as backing from Prime Minister Hun Sen and the majority of the council.

(with files from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation)