Tonga

Last modified: 13 January 2019

The country

The state is known as Pule’anga ó Tonga in its national language. This means the Kingdom of Tonga. The country is reigned by the Tupou dynasty.

Tonga was united into a kingdom by Taufa’ahau in 1845. He was baptised as King George. In 1875 Tonga became a constitutional monarchy. Tonga was a British protectorate between 1900 and 1970, but never gave up its monarchial government. They are since part of the Commonwealth. On 29 July 2008 it was announced that King George Tupou V would relinguish many of his powers. This move ended a near-absolute monarchy.

Sovereign

The current sovereign is ‘Aho’eitu ‘Unuaki’otonga Tuku’aho Tupou VI King of Tonga, also known as Lavaka Tupou VI. He was born at Nuku’alofa, Tonga, on 12 July 1959.

He is the son of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV (1918-2006) and his wife Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho ‘Ahome’e (1926-2017.

Enthronement

Lavaka Tupou VI succeeded his brother King George Tupou V of Tonga after his death on 18 March 2012.

The coronation took place at Centenary Church, Nuku’alofa on 4 July 2015.

Other details

The King’s motto is Ko e ‘Otua mo Tonga ko hoku tofi’a, which means God and Tonga are my Inheritance.

The King’s religion is Wesleyan Methodist.

Marriage and descendants

King Lavaka Tupou VI is married to Princess Heuifanga Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho (born 1954) since 1982.

Their children:

  • Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Hala’evalu Mata’aho Napua’o-ka-lani Tuku’aho (born 1983)
  • Tupouto’a ‘Ulakalala (Siaosi Manumataonga ‘Alaivahama’o ‘Aha’eitu Konstantin Tuku’aho) (born 1985)
  • Prince Ata (Viliami ‘Unuaki-‘o-Tonga Mumui Lalaka mo’e ‘Eiki Tuku’aho) (born 1988)

Heir to the throne

The heir to the throne is Tupouto’a ‘Ulakalala. He was born on 17 September 1985.

He was invested as a Crown Prince of Tonga on 30 March 2012 at the Liukava Royal Residence.

He married in 2012 the Hon Sinaitakala Tu’imatamoana ‘i Fanakavalangi Fakafanua (born ca. 1987).

Their children:

  • Taufa’ahau Manumataongo (born 2013)
  • Halaevalu Mata’aho (born 2014)
  • Nanasipau’u (born 2018)

Postal address

Royal Palace
Nuku’alofa
Tonga

Succession

Tonga is a constitutional monarchy. The king is succeeded by the eldest male child and his heirs. If there are no heirs from the eldest male child, the second male child and his heirs will succeed, until the male line has ended. In case there is no male child, the eldest female child and her heirs will succeed, and if she doesn’t have heirs, the second female child and her heirs will succeed, until the female line is ended. If there are no lawful descendants by marriage (born in wedlock) of David Uga (son of King Siaosi Taufa’ahau Tupou I) left to succeed the throne, the throne will go to William Tungi and his lawful heirs. In case there is no lawful heir anymore, the king will appoint an heir, with consent of the House of Nobles. He has to be publicly declared heir during the king’s life. If that hasn’t happened, the Prime Minister shall convoke the nobles of the Legislative Assembly, and the House of Nobles has to choose by ballot one of the chiefs whom they wish to succeed as king. He and his heirs will then form a new dynasty. If the king dies before his heir has reached the age of eighteen, a Prince Regent will be appointed by ballot by the Legislative Assembly.

The heir apparent to the throne can not marry without the consent of the king. Without consent the marriage is not to be considered legal, and are no longer heirs to the throne. This also applies to any other member of the family who is likely to succeed the throne, and was born in lawful marriage, but no more than twenty times removed from the king. Someone who has been found guilty of a felony or who is insane or imbecile is not to succeed the throne of Tonga.

Titles

The King of Tonga is styled His Majesty. The heir apparent is crown prince and styled His Royal Highness. The other sons and grandsons are Prince and styled His Royal Highness. The daughters and granddaughters of the sovereign in male line are Princess and styled Her Royal Highness. Sons and grandsons are usually granted traditional noble titles when they reach majority.

The Kings of Tonga

George Tupou I (1797-1893)1845-1893
George Tupou II (1874-1918)1893-1918
Queen Salote Tupou III (1900-1965)1918-1965
Taufa’ahau Tupou IV (1918-2006)1965-2006
George Tupou V (1948-2012)2006-2012
Lavaka Tupou VI (1959- )2012-

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