1 Jun 2009

Royal ceremony held in Tahiti

7:46 am on 1 June 2009

A ceremony has been held in French Polynesia by some descendants of the Tahitian royal family, purporting to introduce a new king who is to be installed in three months.

Joinville Pomare says he will be made King Pomare XI on September the 9th which is the date his predecessors signed a treaty in 1842 when the kingdom became a French protectorate.

The Pomare ceremony was held on the grounds of a Tahiti hotel but was decried by some of his relatives as a masquerade, with some saying he is not the next in line.

France no longer recognises a Tahitian royal family, although in 1880

Paris signed a treaty which guaranteed that the titles and customs of the Polynesians under its control would be maintained.

Joinville Pomare has vowed to push land rights in view of France's

refusal to respect the treaties it signed.

Another man claiming to be the heir to the royal title, Tauatomo Mairau, has been told that the official documents recognising him as the Prince Royal are the result of clerical errors.