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Meeting the King of Tonga

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Whilst on a Ministerial visit to the Pacific Islands Meg was invited to meet the King of Tonga, Tupouto’a, now ruling under the title Siaosi Tupou V. They discussed the development of Tonga - he is keen for it to become a modern democratic society with jobs and opportunities for people.


The King attended secondary school in Auckland, New Zealand, and went on to study at Oxford University and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. As Crown Prince, he held great influence in Tongan politics, and was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1979 to 1998.


He succeeded to the throne following the death of his father in 2006, with his coronation due next year. They also talked about his grandmother, Queen Salote, who won the admiration of many in Britain when she rode through the streets in an open carriage in the pouring rain at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1953. She refused to put up the hood of her carriage a sign of her respect for the Queen.

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