George Tupou V (Tongan: Siaosi Tupou, full name: Siaosi Tāufaʻāhau Manumataongo Tukuʻaho Tupou; 4 May 1948 – 18 March 2012) was the King of Tonga[1] from the death of his father Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV in 2006 until his own death six years later.

George Tupou V
George Tupou V in 2011
King of Tonga
Reign11 September 2006 – 18 March 2012
Coronation1 August 2008
PredecessorTāufaʻāhau Tupou IV
Successor'Aho’eitu Tupou VI
Prime Ministers
Born(1948-05-04)4 May 1948
Tongatapu, Tonga
Died18 March 2012(2012-03-18) (aged 63)
Queen Mary Hospital, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Siaosi Tāufaʻāhau Manumataongo Tukuʻaho
FatherTāufaʻāhau Tupou IV of Tonga
MotherHalaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe
ReligionFree Wesleyan Church

Early life and education edit

Prince Siaosi was born on 4 May 1948, as the eldest child of Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa-Tungī of Tonga (son of Queen Sālote Tupou III and Prince Viliami) and his wife Crown Princess Halaevalu.

Tupou V attended King's School and King's College, both in Auckland. This was followed by periods at The Leys School in Cambridge, and another school in Switzerland.[2] He also studied at Oxford University and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England.[3]

Crown Prince edit

Tupou V was appointed Crown Prince on 4 May 1966. In that role, he was better known by one of his traditional chiefly titles, 'Tupoutoʻa.

In 1974, though unmarried, Tupou V had a daughter, 'Ilima Lei Fifita Tohi. In 1997 she married police officer Tulutulumafua i'Olotele Kalaniuvalu and has three children. According to the Constitution of Tonga, ʻIlima is ineligible to accede to the throne as only children born of a royal marriage may succeed.[4]

As Crown Prince, Tupoutoʻa held great influence in Tongan politics, and was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1979 to 1998. He had substantial business interests in Tonga and abroad, and was co-chairman of the Shoreline Group/Tonfön.

Reign edit

Royal Monogram of King George V of Tonga

The King was recognised as a descendant of the sky god Tangaroa.[5] He was sworn in as King Tupou V on 11 September 2006,[6] which also made him, from a traditional viewpoint, the 23rd Tuʻi Kanokupolu (the overlords of Tongatapu).

Coronation edit

The ceremonial aspects of Tupou V's accession took place in July and August 2008. These were initially to be held in 2007 after the six-month official mourning period for his father (as required of close relatives) and his own birthday. They were also deferred after the 2006 Tonga riots as he decided to focus instead on reconstruction of the damaged capital.[7]

During the week of celebrations, two key ceremonies took place to mark Tupou V's coronation. On 30 July 2008, a Taumafa Kava (Royal Kava Ring ceremony) was held on Malaʻe Pangai, the open space to the east of the Royal Palace. During the ceremony, Tupou V sat on a pile of handwoven pandanus mats in an open pavilion facing the sea, while more than 200 Tongan nobles and chiefs dressed in woven skirts and sea shells circled him. He wore the traditional Tongan ta'ovala (woven mat skirt) and a garland of flowers. During this ceremony, Tupou V was formally recognised as the Tuʻi Kanokupolu, and the rightful descendant of King George Tupou I, who united Tonga in the 19th century. The ceremony involved having kava, hundreds of baskets of food, and seventy cooked pigs presented to the King and the assembly of chiefs and nobles.[8]

Later that night, schoolchildren held 30,000 torches to proclaim the coronation in what is known as a tupakapakanava.[8] The traditional torch spectacle was held at a spot overlooking the Pacific and is an ancient honour reserved solely for the Tongan sovereign and Royal Family.[9]

A second, European-style coronation ceremony took place on 1 August 2008 in the Centennial Chapel, Nuku’alofa.[10] Anglican Archbishop of Polynesia Jabez Bryce invested George Tupou V with the Tongan regalia: the ring, sceptre and sword. During the culmination of the ceremony, Archbishop Bryce placed the Tongan Crown on the monarch's head.[10] Royalty and nobility from around the world were in attendance.[11]

Relinquishing most authority edit

A documentary dated June 2004 by Australian journalist Gillian Bradford identifies some of the challenges facing Tongan society but also shows that King George was in favour of a gradual transition to more extensive democracy in Tonga. In the interview, the then-Crown Prince points out that free speech in Tonga was protected by the Constitution.[12]

Three days before his coronation on 1 August 2008, the King announced that he would relinquish most of his power and be guided by his Prime Minister's recommendations on most matters.[13] The Prime Minister would also be in charge of day-to-day affairs.[14]

In addition, the King announced that there would be parliamentary reform and elections in 2010.[15] Fielakepa, the spokesman for the royal palace, said, "The Sovereign of the only Polynesian kingdom ... is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people ... [The people] favour a more representative, elected Parliament. The king agrees with them."[16]

In July 2010, the government published a new electoral roll and called Tonga's 101,900 citizens to add their names to the document so that they could take part in the historic vote, which was due to be held on 25 November. He would remain head of state, but lose his executive powers, including the ability to appoint the prime minister and ministers.[17] However, it seemed certain that the Monarch would continue to appoint and administer the Judiciary of Tonga for the purposes of assuring that political independence and neutrality were retained.[18] Tupou V also retained the power to commute prison sentences.[19]

Divesting business interests edit

As king, his first proclamation was that he would dispose of all his business assets as soon as reasonably possible, and in accordance with the law.[16] Tonfön was sold in 2007,[20] but efforts to divest from Shoreline Power were delayed after New Zealand investors withdrew following the 2006 Nuku‘alofa riots.[21]

Other edit

On 24 February 2012, he visited Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City.[22][23]

During his reign, George Tupou V oversaw reforms within the Tongan honours system which both expanded the number of Orders in the Kingdom and created rules to make the award of these Orders more egalitarian.

In 2008 he bestowed noble titles to family members. Most significantly he restored the 'Prince' title to his nephew Prince Tungi, who is the eldest son of Prince Fatafehi 'Alaivahamama'o Tuku'aho.

Illness and death edit

The coffin of King George Tupou V being carried to the Tombs.

In September 2011, Tupou V had surgery to remove a kidney following the discovery of a tumour.[24]

On 15 September 2011, he received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary from Pál Schmitt, the president of Hungary.[25] During his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he had been made an officer of France's Legion of Honour.

Matangi Tonga reported that George Tupou V died in HKT on 18 March 2012 at Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong, though governing institutions in Tonga did not immediately confirm it. His brother and heir presumptive Tupouto'a Lavaka was at the hospital when he died.[3]

Domestic reactions edit

A statement was due following a cabinet meeting the day after his death. Radio Australia reported that Tonga's largest religious organisation, the Free Wesleyan Church, said it would hold a prayer service at the queen mother's residence in Nukuʻalofa.[24] Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano later made a national address calling on the people of Tonga to pray for the royal family and the country, according to Radio New Zealand.

International reactions edit

  • Queen Elizabeth II sent a message of condolence saying that King Tupou was "a true statesman who served his country with distinction".[26]
  • King Harald V sent a message of condolence to King Tupou VI, in which he expressed sympathy for the new King, his family and the people of Tonga.[27]
  • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that King Tupou's death was the loss of "a great friend" to Australia and pointed to the change he led Tonga through as the "first truly democratic elections, held in November 2010, set the country on a new course."
  • New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said: "He believed that the monarchy was an instrument of change and can truly be seen as the architect of evolving democracy in Tonga. This will be his enduring legacy."[28]
  • Māori Kīngi Tūheitia said: "He kura i tangihia, he maimai aroha" which means condolences to the Royal Family and the people of Tonga.[29]
  • United States President Barack Obama said that King Tupou's death was the loss of "a friend" to the United States and the loss of "a visionary leader" to the people of Tonga.[30]

Funeral edit

Following the official announcement of the passing of King George Tupou V and giving the Proclamation of the new King, Tupou VI, His Majesty's Cabinet set up a Committee for the organization of the state funeral of the King. Lord Vaea became the chairman of the committee. The King's body arrived on 26 March 2012, then lay in state at the Royal Palace in Nuku'alofa for a day.[31] The funeral, originally announced for 28 March 2012, was rescheduled to 27 March 2012.[31]

Selected foreign dignitaries were invited by the committee to attend the funeral, including the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, and the Governor-General of New Zealand, Jerry Mateparae. Royal guests at the ceremony included Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Prince Hitachi of Japan and his wife, Princess Hitachi.[31][32]

Honours edit

Styles of
King George Tupou V of Tonga
Reference styleHis Majesty
ko ʻene ʻafio
Spoken styleYour Majesty
ko hoʻo ʻafio

National edit

Foreign edit

Ancestry edit

See the Tongan language page and ancestor's page ...

Family tree edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Tongan monarch dies at 63" The Australian
  2. ^ Crowning glory or a costly folly? George Tupou V's coronation divides Tonga The Sunday Times, 29 July 2008
  3. ^ a b "Tonga king dies in Hong Kong hospital". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  4. ^ Jane Phare (17 September 2006). "The madness of King George of Tonga". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 October 2006.
  5. ^ "His Majesty King George Tupou V of Tonga". The Daily Telegraph. London. 18 March 2012.
  6. ^ Tongan Government Gazette Publication 20 Archived 14 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine and Gazette Publication 19 Archived 5 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine It might be argued that he became King on his swearing-in (11 September, midday), or on the death of his father the night before. However, although the death of his father occurred on 10 September at 23:34 in New Zealand, Siaosi was in Tonga, where the time was 0:34, 11 September.
  7. ^ "user account – Matangi Tonga Online". Archived from the original on 8 December 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  8. ^ a b "King of Tonga crowned". TV New Zealand. 1 August 2008. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  9. ^ McMahon, Barbara (30 July 2008). "Gutted pigs and narcotic drinks welcome new king of Tonga". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  10. ^ a b Tedmanson, Sophie (1 August 2008). "Lavish coronation ceremony for new King of Tonga". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  11. ^ "Tonga's Coronation celebrations". The Guardian (UK). London. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  12. ^ Bradford, Gillian (16 January 2008). Tonga – Tonga. Journeyman Pictures. Archived from the original on 5 September 2021. Retrieved 23 January 2022 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Tonga's king to cede key powers", BBC, 29 July 2008
  14. ^ McMahon, Barbara (29 July 2008). "Tongan king promises 'more democracy' for Pacific island". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  15. ^ "His Majesty King George Tupou V- A Monarch for a time of change". Fiji Daily Post. 29 July 2008. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Tongan King moves towards democracy". The Timaru Herald. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2022 – via PressReader.
  17. ^ Sydney, Bonnie Malkin in. "King of Tonga prepares to give up power". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Privy Council establishes Commission of Inquiry". Government of Tonga. 2010. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  19. ^ "Tongan king to give up absolute rule". CNN. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  20. ^ "Digicel Pacific to acquire Tonfon Communications". Comms Update. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  21. ^ "Tonga seeks funds to buy King's power company". RNZ. 29 January 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  22. ^ "Benedetto XVI riceve in udienza il re di Tonga – ZENIT – Italiano". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  23. ^ "Benedetto XVI riceve il re di Tonga". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Tonga's reformist king dies aged 63". The Kathmandu Post. 19 March 2012.
  25. ^ Origo. "Rajong a magyarokért a Schmitt Pál által kitüntetett király". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  26. ^ "Message of condolence following the death of the King of Tonga, 19 March 2012". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  27. ^ " – Condolences". Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  28. ^ "Tonga in mourning after king aged 63 dies – Hindustan Times". Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  29. ^ " " Kiingi Tuheitia extends condolences to Tonga". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  30. ^ Obama, Barack (19 March 2012). "Statement by the President on the Passing of King George Tupou V of Tonga". (Press release). Retrieved 19 March 2012 – via National Archives.
  31. ^ a b c Tahana, Yvonne (24 March 2012). "Change of day for King's funeral upsets expat Tongans". The New Zealand Herald.
  32. ^ "King George Tupou V's burial date to be confirmed". Matangi Tonga. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  33. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  34. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  35. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  36. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  37. ^ "Royal orders presented at Palace". Matangi Tonga. 1 August 2008. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  38. ^ a b "Photo". Archived from the original (JPG) on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  39. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  40. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  41. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  42. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  43. ^ "Photo" (JPG).
  44. ^ "Royal House of Georgia | Order Eagle of Georgia | Order Distinguished Members". Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  45. ^ "New Tongan king: A lifetime in politics". The New Zealand Herald. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  46. ^ "King of Tonga Invested into the Order – Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George". 28 February 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  47. ^ "World Leaders honoured by Constantinian Order at London Investiture Ceremony – Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George". 29 July 2012.
  48. ^ Administrator. "King George Tupou V invested in Order of Francis I". Retrieved 4 June 2017.

External links edit

George Tupou V
House of Tupou
Born: 4 May 1948 Died: 18 March 2012
Titles of nobility
Preceded by 3rd Chief Tupoutoʻa [citation needed]
Succeeded by
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Tonga
Succeeded by