22 Mar 2012

King of Tonga's state funeral to be held a day early

2:38 pm on 22 March 2012

Tonga's government has confirmed the state funeral of the late King George Tupou V will now be held on Tuesday next week.

The funeral was scheduled to be held on Wednesday.

The secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communication Paula Ma'u, says it is the new King Tupou VI's wishes for the burial to be held a day earlier.

He says the body of the late king will arrive in Tonga from Hong Kong about midday on Monday, and be taken to the royal palace to lie in state overnight.

Mr Ma'u says officials are now waiting on confirmation of foreign dignitaries who will attend the funeral.