24 Mar 2012

Queen Elizabeth sends message of condolence to Tonga

8:23 am on 24 March 2012

A message of condolence from Queen Elizabeth following the death of King George Tupou V has been sent to Tonga.

The British High Commission in Suva, Fiji, says the following message was sent to the new King, Tupou VI.

The Queen told the new King of her great sadness at the loss of his brother, who she said was a true statesman who served his country with distinction.

She said on the behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, Prince Philip and herself, she wished to convey to the new King and his family, and to the people of Tonga, their deepest sympathy at this sad time.

Matangi Tonga online also reports that The Duke of Gloucester, the Queen's cousin, will be attending the funeral of the late King, accompanied by the Acting British High Commissioner to Tonga, Martin Fidler.