26 Mar 2012

The body of Tonga's late King arrives back in the country

2:58 pm on 26 March 2012

The body of the late King George Tupou the 5th has just arrived from Hong Kong in Tonga for his state funeral tomorrow.

Crowds and dignitaries were at the airport to greet the arrival of the former King.

Karen Mangnall reports from Nuku'alofa

"The late King's casket is being met off the plane by the Queen Mother, the Crown Prince, the new Queen and the Tonga Prime Minister all wrapped in fine mats over their heads. The new King Tupou VI who accompanied the casket on the flight has just come down the steps for his first time on Tongan soil as its new King. A military enguard and Nima Tapu are about to escort the late King's casket to the car for the procession to the royal palace. The late King will lie there in state until his burial tomorrow afternoon."