27 Mar 2012

Tonga's King George Tupou V laid to rest

4:32 pm on 27 March 2012

Tonga's late King George Tupou the fifth has been laid to rest at the Malae Kula Royal Tombs in Nuku'alofa.

The burial ceremony lasted for close to three hours.

Megan Whelan reports from Nuku'alofa.

"The late king was buried in front of several thousand people including the royal family and his successor King Tupou VI. Leaders from around the Pacific attended including Fiji's president, Samoa's head of state, governors-general from New Zealand and Australia and the leaders of Niue and Kiribati. The catafalque bearing the casket was draped in black and gold velvet and bore the royal insignia. At the end of the service the casket was carried to the traditional caretaker or ha'atufunga to be entombed. They will stand guard at the royal tombs for the next ten days."