The people of Tonga are still celebrating the coronation of their new King, Taufa'Ahau Tupou III.
The people of Tonga are still celebrating the coronation of their new King, Taufa'Ahau Tupou III. The King was crowned in a solemn chapel ceremony this week (Tuesday), before thousands of Tongans and visiting guests.
The King--also known as King George Tupou III--was crowned in a wooden Methodist chapel in the grounds of the Tongan Royal palace.
He wore a scarlet robe with train over the dress uniform of a general, and was accompanied by his Queen, Meta'aho. Guests for the ceremony included the Duke and Duchess of Kent, representing the Queen, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Holyoake.
The new monarch of the self-governing British-protected Pacific island group was crowned on his 49th birthday. He is six feet two inches (nearly eight metres) tall, weighs 21 stone, is an arts and law graduate and an expert surf-rider and skin-diver.
He was premier for 16 years during the reign of his mother, Queen Salote, and in that time he brought in a string of social and political reforms.
As the coronation ceremonies came to an end the islanders gave a great roar of "Long may the King reign", and then launched into days of feasting, singing and dancing.
During the coronation service itself the King was invested with the "ring of kingly dignity".