Taufa'ahau Tupou IV
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Taufa'ahau Tupou IV

T?ufahau Tupou IV
T?ufahau Tupou IV - ETH-Bibliothek Com LC1500-0777-001.tif
King of Tonga
Reign16 December 1965 - 10 September 2006
Coronation4 July 1967 at Nuku?alofa
PredecessorS?lote Tupou III
SuccessorGeorge Tupou V
9th Premier of Tonga
In office12 December 1949 - 16 December 1965
MonarchQueen Salote Tupou III
PredecessorHon. Solomone Ula Ata
SuccessorPrince Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake
Born(1918-07-04)4 July 1918
Royal Palace, Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Died10 September 2006(2006-09-10) (aged 88)
Mercy Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
IssueGeorge Tupou V
Princess Salote, Princess Royal
Prince Fatafehi
Tupou VI
FatherHon. Viliami Tung? Mailefihi
MotherQueen Salote Tupou III of Tonga
ReligionFree 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.


Marriage and children

He was married to Queen Halaevalu Mata?aho ?Ahome?e (1926-2017), and the couple had four children:

  • Prince Siaosi T?ufahau Manumataongo Tuku?aho Tupou, while as Crown Prince, better known by the hereditary title: Tupouto?a (once his father did not need it any longer). He succeeded him later as George Tupou V.
  • Princess Royal Salote Mafile?o Pilolevu Tuita (born Tuku?aho in 1951). The Honourable Lady Tuita by marriage.
  • Prince Fatafehi ?Alaivahamama?o Tuku?aho (stripped of his title after marrying a commoner, later bestowed with the hereditary title of Matu. Born in 1953, deceased in 2004). He married his first wife Heimataura Seiloni, 21 July 1980 and died of cancer in Nuku'alofa, 19 September 1985. She was the daughter of Chief Matagialalua Tavana Salmon Anderson of Tahiti and Tongan singer and songwriter, Tu'imala Kaho. Lord Ma'atu then married Alaile'ula Poutasi Jungblut, 11th July, 1989. Hon. Alaile'ula, is the daughter of Melvin Jungblut and his wife Lola Tosi Malietoa who is the daughter of the former head of state of Samoa Malietoa Tanumafili II. Lord Ma'atu and Dowager Lady Ma'atu have three children.
  • Prince ?Aho?eitu ?Unuaki?otonga Tuku?aho better known by his traditional titles: Tupouto?a Lavaka (until the death of his father known asUluk?lala Lavaka Ata). As his elder brother died without legitimate issue, he became King Tupou VI in 2012. Born in 1959

Life and reign

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.

2 pa?anga coin commemorating Taufa'ahau Tupou's coronation in 1967.
The King as a student at Newington College

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.[1]

The King was also very tall, standing 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m).[2] Shoemaker Per-Enok Kero reported that "He weighed 180 kilos and had shoe size 47 in length and 52 in breadth."[3]

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.

Death and funeral

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,[4] He died 26 days later, at 23:34 on 10 September 2006[5] (New Zealand time: it was just after midnight on 11 September in Tongan time). He was 88 and had reigned for 41 years.[6][7]

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).[8]

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.[9]





  1. ^ "Tongan King Tupou IV dies at 88". BBC News. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 2006.
  2. ^ "King Tupou IV dies at 88". BBC News. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  3. ^ "A Rather Special Order". Kero.se. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "Tongans urged to pray for dying King". Matangi Tonga. 15 August 2006. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 2006.
  5. ^ "King's body to lie in state". The New Zealand Herald. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 2006.
  6. ^ The king's death as reported on Fijian TV on YouTube
  7. ^ Downes, Lawrence. "The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Royalty, dignitaries in Tonga gather for king's funeral". International Herald Tribune. 18 September 2006. Retrieved 2006.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Tupou10". Royalark.net. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Photographic image" (JPG). Royalark.net. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ to:File:Taufa Tupou 4.jpg
  13. ^ "Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip pose with members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police during a tour of Canada, October 1977. Photos and Images". Getty Images. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ "jeanpaulleblanc Resources and Information". Jeanpaulleblanc.com. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Fadlmedia.s3.amazonaws.com. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "1979: West Germany's Generous Offer". Mic.gov.to. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "Tonga Royalty Posing With Japanese Leaders". Getty Images. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ "Hu Jintao Meets with Tongan King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV". Fmprc.gov.cn. 19 October 2004. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ a b c "Photographic image" (GIF). 38.media.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Itre.cis.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ World Peace Prize Top Honer Prize-Taufa`ahau Tupou 4th WPPAC.

External links

T?ufahau Tupou IV
Born: 4 July 1918 Died: 10 September 2006
Titles of nobility
Preceded by
Sione Mateialona Tupou
2nd Chief Tupouto?a[1]
Succeeded by
Siaosi Tupou V
Regnal titles
Preceded by
S?lote Tupou III
King of Tonga
Succeeded by
Siaosi Tupou V

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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