Tonga King George Tupou V dead at 63: Thousands of islander dressed in black during his funeral
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Tonga King George Tupou V dead at 63: Thousands of islander dressed in black during his funeral

Nuku'alofa : Tonga | Mar 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM PDT
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Thousands of Tongans lined in the streets to mourn their late King George Tupou V who died on March 18, 2012. He was 63, The King was recognised as a descendant of the sky god Tangaloa.[5] He was sworn in as King Tupou V on 11 September 2006,[6] which also made him, from a traditional viewpoint, the 23rd Tuʻi Kanokupolu (the overlords of Tongatapu). King George Tupou V had surgery to remove a kidney following the discovery of a tomour. Matangi Tonga reported that George Tupou V died from leukemia at 15:15 HKT 18 March 2012 at Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong,[21] though governing institutions in Tonga did not immediately confirm it. His brother and Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka was at the hospital when he died. International leaders sent their deepest condolences to family of late King George Tupou V, remembering him as "a true statesman who served his country with distinction", message from Queen Elizabeth II. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that King Tupou's death was a loss of "a great friend" to Australia, he led Tonga through as the first truly democratic elections, held in November 2010. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said: "He believed that the monarchy was an instrument of change and can truly be seen as the architect of evolving democracy in Tonga. This will be his enduring legacy." Maori King Tuheitia said: "He kura i tangihia, he maimai aroha" which means condolences to the Royal Family and the people of Tonga. United States President Barack Obama said that King Tupou's death was the loss of "a friend" to the United States and the loss of "a visionary leader" to the people of Tonga. One thousand pallbearers took turns to carry his coffin in a procession led by a military guard of honour and members of the royal family. Church bells rang out and a 21-gun salute was fired. Many buildings and trees across the country are bedecked with Tonga's mourning colours of black and purple. The king's brother, Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka, will succeed his brother. And people will mourn for three months while wearing black.
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Tonga holds funeral of King George Tupou V
Tonga's King George Tupou V dead at 63: Thousands of islander dressed in black during his funeral
Mary Grace Keiner is based in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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