• Short Summary

    QUEEN SALOTE OF TONGA, DESCENDANT OF AN UNBROKEN LINE OF WARRIOR KINGS, WAS BURIED LAST THURSDAY AS 50,000 MOURNERS LOOK ON IN ALMOST UTTER SILENCE.

  • Description


    MEN CARRY BIER IN PROCESSION; KING TUPOU AND QUEEN MATA'AHO; NEW ZEALAND GOVERNOR GENERAL SIR BERNARD FERGUSSON AND LADY FERGUSSON; GUARD OF HONOUR; SCHOOL-CHILDREN; POLICE BAND; CROWDS AT THE TOMB; BIER CARRIED TO TOMB; CROWN PRINCE AND YOUNGER BROTHER TAKE CUSHIONS OF OFFICE TO TOMB; NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, MR. HOLYOAKE; CLOTH HELD UP TO HIDE LAST CEREMONIES; CASKET.




    Initials RC/V-S/CR/PC



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: QUEEN SALOTE OF TONGA, DESCENDANT OF AN UNBROKEN LINE OF WARRIOR KINGS, WAS BURIED LAST THURSDAY AS 50,000 MOURNERS LOOK ON IN ALMOST UTTER SILENCE. QUEEN SALOTE DIED A WEEK EARLIER AT THE AGE OF 65 IN A NEW ZEALAND HOSPITAL. SHE HAD BEEN SUFFERING FROM PLEURISY AND A TYPE OF LEG CANCER.

    TONGA IS PART OF THE FRIENDLY ISLAND GROUP TO THE NORTH OF NEW ZEALAND, AND IS THE ONLY REMAINING MONARCHY IN THE PACIFIC. QUEEN SALOTE'S ANCESTORS RULED TONGA BEFORE THE NORMANS CONQUERED BRITAIN. SHE SUCCEEDED TO THE THRONE IN 1918.

    BURIAL RITES TOOK PLACE IN THE CENTRE OF NUKUALOFA, SITE OF THE TONGAN ROYAL TOMBS BUILT HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO FROM LARGE BLOCKS OF CORAL. THOUSANDS OF MOURNERS KEEP VIGIL THROUGH THE NIGHT BY THE FLICKERING LIGHT OF A HUNDRED FIRES OUTSIDE THE PALACE WALLS. THE SILENCE OUTSIDE WAS BROKEN ONLY BY THE POUNDING OF THE SURF ON THE REEF, THE WIND IN THE PALM TREES AND AN OCCASIONAL SOB.

    THE TONGAN ROYAL FAMILY AND REPRESENTATIVES OF OTHER COUNTRIES WAITED OUTSIDE THE PALACE GROUNDS FOR THE CASKET TO BE PLACED ON A CANOPIED BIER. UNDER TONGAN LAW, ONLY SIX MEN ARE ALLOWED TO WITNESS THE BURIAL, AND THE LAST RITES WERE CONCEALED BEHIND A HUGE TAPA CLOTH. KING TUPOU THE FOURTH, ELDEST OF QUEEN SALOTE'S THREE SONS HAS NOW BECOME TONGAN RULER.

    QUEEN SALOTE, WHO WAS 6 FT. 3 IN. TALL AND WEIGHED 20 STONE WAS VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD UNTIL 1953, WHEN SHE ATTENDED THE CORONATION IN LONDON OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. MILLIONS OF BRITONS SAW HER RIDE BARE-HEADED THROUGH RAIN-DRENCHED LONDON IN AN OPEN CARRIAGE FOR THE BENEFIT OF CROWDS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABDN7E9K36CRYURZRG3BCFYQ8
    Media URN:
    VLVABDN7E9K36CRYURZRG3BCFYQ8
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/12/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:53:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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