Sunday, March 18, 2012
King George Tupou V (1948-2012)
It is with sorrow that I learn of the death at 63 of George Tupou V, who had been King of Tonga since 2006. King Tupou was widely admired for relinquishing absolute power to oversee the evolution of a democratic constitutional monarchy, a move perhaps not without dangers from a traditionalist perspective but one which seems to have had some success without eliminating royal influence. Much of the world probably saw HM for the first time last year as one of the most prestigious foreign guests making his way down the aisle of Westminster Abbey at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. As the unmarried King had no legitimate children (a daughter lives in Auckland), he is succeeded by his brother ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho, 52. I know readers will want to keep the royal family and people of Tonga in their thoughts and prayers during this time of transition. The King is Dead; Long Live the King!
Update: See the official Tongan government memorial page and also this article and video on the funeral.