Ermine robes, crowns, nobles and imported orchestras will feature at the July 4 coronation of year-old King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u, However, the event will also be watched closely for political signals, since it will be the first time a fully democratic Tongan government has staged such an event. A virtual absolute monarchy for much of its history, Tonga was run until recently by an alliance between its royal family and about 30 "noble" families bearing titles modeled on British peerages. That began to change only in , when 'Akilisi Pohiva's Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands took most of the seats reserved for commoners in parliament. Pohiva's party was prevented from taking office by an alliance of nobles and commoners opposed to him, but he finally became prime minister after mustering a parliamentary majority in late December , following a fresh election in November. The former government said the cost was worthwhile to attract tourists to the capital, Nuku'alofa, which means "Village of Love.
Updated September 19, The people of Tonga have paid their final respects to King Tupou IV in a funeral that brought the Pacific island kingdom to a standstill. The three-hour ceremony combined the late monarch's great loves - his family, his people and their traditions. The King's casket, which was covered with his royal standard, was borne on a giant catafalque by a 1, men in relay through the streets of the Tongan capital. Crowds of Tongans sat cross-legged three- and four-deep as the procession made its way from the royal palace to the ancestral burial grounds near by. The challenge of taking the tiny sovereign state into the future now rests with year-old King Tupou V. Topics: death , people , tonga.
The Kingdom of Tonga was well into 10 days of national mourning on Wednesday, after the late Queen Mother was buried amidst a series of processions filled with pomp and circumstance. She was Photo: Kingdom of Tonga. That began a recurring series of elaborate tributes across the country. When the Queen Mother's body returned to the country aboard a New Zealand Air Force plane on Tuesday, thousands of children lined the streets on the 20 kilometre journey from the airport to the royal palace, bowing their heads as her cortege passed by.
King George was a true statesman who served his country with distinction. On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, Prince Philip and I wish to convey to your family and to the people of the Kingdom of Tonga our deepest sympathy at this sad time. Jon's transformation from a young man in prison to one with a stable future