26 Mar 2012

Procession across Tonga's main island of casket carrying the late King

3:47 pm on 26 March 2012

A procession accompanying the casket and body of Tonga's late King George Tupou the Fifth is making its way from the airport to the Royal Palace in Nuku'alofa.

A plane carrying the King's body touched down this afternoon from Hong Kong, where the King died a week ago.

Our reporter Karen Mangnall is with those following the cortege.

"We're passing now past lines of people, who've been waiting since as early as eight or nine this morning in the hot sun. Some of them have placed tapa cloths and mats out on the road, for the King's cortege to drive over. Of course by the time we get there, they're going to be lifted. Escorting the casket is also the Nima Tapu and they'll stay with the casket when it arrives at the palace and is taken in to the throne room and where the late king will lie in state until midday tomorrow."

Our reporter Karen Mangnall in Tonga.