20 Mar 2012

Funeral of Tonga's King to be Wednesday next week

2:57 pm on 20 March 2012

Details have been announced for the funeral and mourning of Tonga's King George Tupou the fifth who died in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Sally Round reports:

"The King's funeral will take place next Wednesday at the Mala'ekula royal tombs, the royal burial ground in Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa. Three officials from the Tonga government have left for Hong Kong today to arrange the return of the King's body on Sunday which is due to arrive back in Tonga the following day. The King will lie in state for two days at the Royal Palace. A three-month taboo or mourning period has been announced. Preparations are already underway for the state funeral which is expected to include a procession similar to that of the late King's father King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV in 2006."

It has been revealed in Tonga that the new king, Tupouto'a Lavaka Ata, has chosen the name King Tupou VI.