2 Aug 2011

Questions raised over royal match in Tonga

1:13 pm on 2 August 2011

Questions have been raised in Tonga about a forthcoming marriage in the kingdom between blue-blooded second cousins.

The second in line to the Tongan throne, Prince 'Ulukalala and the Honourable Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana Fakafanua were officially engaged at a ceremony last week.

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the internet and an increasingly open society may be why people are raising queries about the tradition of keeping Tonga's royal blood pure.

"The law does explain that if you're a commoner you can get married if you're third cousins but there seems to be a different set of laws for the nobility so there is a big discussion whether this is Christian-based or ethical enough nowadays. It appears that it's the first time that such a wedding between the royal family is taking place in a time when Tongans read widely and are able to talk openly."

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu