|T?ufahau Tupou IV|
|King of Tonga|
|Reign||16 December 1965 - 10 September 2006|
|Coronation||4 July 1967 at Nuku?alofa|
|Predecessor||S?lote Tupou III|
|Successor||George Tupou V|
|9th Premier of Tonga|
|In office||12 December 1949 - 16 December 1965|
|Monarch||Queen Salote Tupou III|
|Predecessor||Hon. Solomone Ula Ata|
|Successor||Prince Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake|
|Born||4 July 1918|
Royal Palace, Nuku'alofa, Tonga
|Died||10 September 2006 (aged 88)|
Mercy Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
Halaevalu Mata?aho ?Ahome?e (m. 1946)
|Issue||George Tupou V|
Princess Salote, Princess Royal
|Father||Hon. Viliami Tung? Mailefihi|
|Mother||Queen Salote Tupou III of Tonga|
|Religion||Free Wesleyan Church|
T?ufahau Tupou IV (4 July 1918 - 10 September 2006), son of Queen S?lote Tupou III and her consort Prince Viliami Tung? Mailefihi, was the king of Tonga from the death of his mother in 1965 until his own death in 2006.
Immediately prior to his death, he was the fourth longest-reigning living monarch in the world after Kings Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Abdul Halim of Kedah of Malaysia and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
He was married to Queen Halaevalu Mata?aho ?Ahome?e (1926-2017), and the couple had four children:
The King's full baptismal name was Siaosi T?ufahau Tupoulahi, but he was soon better known by the traditional title reserved for Crown Princes: Tupouto?a, (bestowed in 1937) later replaced by the title he inherited from his father: Tung? (or using both: Tupouto?a-Tung?, in that time written as Tubouto?a-Tugi). He kept the Tung? title until his death. From a traditional point of view he was not only the Tung?, which is the direct descendent from the Tu?i Ha?atakalaua, but he was also, on becoming king, the 22nd Tu?i Kanokupolu. The link with the Tu?i Tonga, was more indirect. He was not a Tu?i Tonga too (as that office has gone over into the Kalaniuvalu line), but his grandmother Lavinia Veiongo (wife of George Tupou II) was the great-granddaughter of Laufilitonga, the last Tu?i Tonga, and his wife Halaevalu Mata?aho (not to be confused with the King's wife of the same name and same family), who was the daughter of Tupou ?Ahome?e, who was the daughter of L?t?fuipeka, the Tamah? (sister of the Tu?i Tonga). By consequence, the King's daughter, Pilolevu, was the first woman in Tongan culture to really have the blood of the three major Royal dynasties in her veins and become the highest-ranking person ever.
The King was a keen sportsman and religious preacher in his youth. He was educated at Newington College and studied Law at Sydney University while resident at Wesley College in Sydney, Australia. He was appointed Minister of Education by Queen S?lote in 1943, Minister of Health in 1944, and in 1949, Premier. He remained a lay preacher of the Free Wesleyan Church until his death, and in some circumstances, was empowered to appoint an acting church president. In the 1970s, he was the heaviest monarch in the world, weighing in at over 200 kg (440 pounds or 31 stone). For his visits to Germany, the German Government used to commission special chairs that could support his weight. The King used to take them home, considering them as state presents. In the 1990s, he took part in a national fitness campaign, losing a third of his weight.
He wielded great political authority and influence in Tonga's essentially aristocratic system of government, together with the country's nobles, who control 70% of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. His involvement in an investment scandal, however, involving his appointed court jester Jesse Bogdonoff, had in his last years embroiled the King in controversy, and led to calls for greater government transparency and democratisation. In 2005, the government spent several weeks negotiating with striking civil service workers before reaching a settlement. The king's nephew, Tu?i Pelehake (?Uluvalu), served as mediator. A constitutional commission presented a series of recommendations for constitutional reform to the King a few weeks before his death.
On 15 August 2006, Tongan Prime Minister Feleti Sevele interrupted radio and television broadcasts to announce that the King was gravely ill in the Mercy Hospital in Auckland and to ask the 104,000 people of the island chain to pray for their King, He died 26 days later, at 23:34 on 10 September 2006 (New Zealand time: it was just after midnight on 11 September in Tongan time). He was 88 and had reigned for 41 years.
T?ufahau Tupou IV was buried on 19 September 2006 at Mala?e Kula (the Royal cemetery) in the Tongan capital, Nuku?alofa. Thousands of Tongans watched the funeral and mourners included many foreign dignitaries, including Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Fijian Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Vanuatu president Kalkot Mataskelekele, the American Samoan Governor Togiola Tulafono, Niue Premier Vivian Young, and the Duke of Gloucester, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. The funeral blended Christian and ancient Polynesian burial rites. The funeral was overseen by the Royal undertaker Lauaki and his men of the Ha?atufunga (clan), also known as the nima tapu (sacred hands).
According to the International Herald Tribune, "Tupou IV's 41-year reign made him one of the world's longest-serving sovereigns", after Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej; Queen Elizabeth II, as queen of Australia, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, specifically; and Samoa's head of state, Malietoa Tanumafili II.
T?ufahau Tupou IVBorn: 4 July 1918 Died: 10 September 2006
|Titles of nobility|
Sione Mateialona Tupou
| 2nd Chief Tupouto?a
Siaosi Tupou V
S?lote Tupou III
| King of Tonga
Siaosi Tupou V