Tupou VI

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI
Dinner for His Majesty King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u 04.jpg
The King in 2019
King of Tonga
Reign18 March 2012 – present
Coronation4 July 2015[1]
PredecessorGeorge Tupou V
Heir apparentTupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala
Prime Ministers
13th Prime Minister of Tonga
Term3 January 2000 – 11 February 2006
PredecessorBaron Vaea
SuccessorFeleti Sevele
MonarchTāufaʻāhau Tupou IV
Born (1959-07-12) 12 July 1959 (age 62)
Royal Palace, Nukuʻalofa, Tonga
(m. 1982)
IssuePrincess Lātūfuipeka Tukuʻaho
Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala
Prince Ata
ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho
FatherTāufaʻāhau Tupou IV
MotherHalaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe

ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI (Tongan: 'Aho‘eitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho; born 12 July 1959) is King of Tonga. He is the younger brother and successor of the late King George Tupou V. He was officially confirmed by his brother on 27 September 2006 as the heir presumptive to the Throne of Tonga, as his brother (a bachelor) had no legitimate children.[2] He served as Tonga's High Commissioner to Australia, and resided in Canberra[3][4] until the death of King George Tupou V on 18 March 2012, when ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho became King of Tonga, with the regnal name ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI.[5]


He was born in Nukuʻalofa, Tonga, the third son and youngest child of King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV.[citation needed] He was educated at The Leys School, Cambridge, from 1973 to 1977.[6] He then attended the University of East Anglia, where he read Development Studies, from 1977 to 1980.[7] He started his career in the military, joining the naval arm of the Tonga Defence Services in 1982 and becoming a Lieutenant-Commander in 1987. He graduated from the US Naval War College as part of Class 33 in 1988. From 1990 to 1995 he commanded the Pacific-class patrol boat VOEA Pangai and his time in charge included peacekeeping operations in Bougainville. He graduated with a masters in Defence Studies from the University of New South Wales in 1997 and with an MA in International Relations from Bond University in 1999.[citation needed]

In 1998 he ended his military career to become part of the government, first as the defence minister and the foreign minister at the same time, from October 1998 until August 2004. He took over these posts from his elder brother Tupoutoʻa, at that time still the crown prince, later to become King Siaosi Tupou V (see below). Soon he was appointed as Prime Minister on 3 January 2000, a function he kept until his sudden resignation on 11 February 2006. Its reason has never been made clear, but was probably due to the unrest from a series of pro-democracy protests calling since mid-2005 for a lesser role for the royal family in government. His appointed successor, Feleti Sevele, was Tonga's first prime minister who was not a hereditary estate holder or a member of the 33 noble families that make up the Tongan aristocracy. In 2008 ʻAhoʻeitu was appointed Tonga's first High Commissioner to Australia, a post he held until his succession to the Tongan throne in 2012.[8] In addition, he was also Ambassador to Japan from 15 January 2010 to his coronation in 2012.[9] In 2013 he was appointed as Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific.[10]

Marriage and family[edit]

Tupoutoʻa-Lavaka (centre) in a mourning dress for his recently deceased father, king Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV in 2006. He is flanked by his two sons, the new chiefs ʻUlukālala (left) and Ata (right)

ʻAhoʻeitu is married to a daughter of the high chief Vaea, Nanasipauʻu Tukuʻaho (his second cousin) and the couple have three children and four grandchildren:[citation needed]

Since his confirmation as heir presumptive, he got the traditional title of Tupoutoʻa, reserved for crown princes, which his older brother (the second) had to give up because he married a commoner, while two of his previous titles went to his sons. As such he was until his accession to the throne known as Tupoutoʻa Lavaka. His elder son, Siaosi, (George) is to be addressed by the prestigious title of ʻUlukālala of Fangatongo, while his second son, Viliami, (William) was bestowed with ʻAta of Hihifo.[citation needed]


King Tupou VI after his coronation ceremony in Nukuʻalofa on 4 July 2015

King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u were crowned in a ceremony conducted at Centenary Church in Nukuʻalofa on 4 July 2015 by the Reverend D'Arcy Wood, a retired Uniting Church in Australia minister who was born in Tonga. He was assisted by the Reverend 'Ahio and the Reverend Tevita Havea, the president and the secretary general of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.[12] The celebrations included many international invited guests, and an estimated 15,000 people, mostly expatriate Tongans, flew in to join the celebrations.[citation needed]

During the ceremony, Tupou VI was anointed with holy oil, adorned with a ring, and presented with a sceptre. The crown was then placed on his head by Wood, who performed the anointing and crowning as a matter of circumventing the taboo on native Tongans touching the King's head. The celebrations ran for a total of eleven days, beginning a week before the ceremony.[13]

Name and titles[edit]

Styles of
King Tupou VI of Tonga
Coat of arms of Tonga.svg
Reference styleHis Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty
Alternative styleSir

It is customary in Tongan culture that princes get a traditional chiefly title, by which they then are commonly known. As such for many years, until his confirmation as Heir Presumptive, ʻAhoʻeitu was known by either one or all three of the titles which were bestowed on him over the time: Lavaka from Pea, ʻAta from Kolovai and ʻAtatā, and ʻUlukālala from Fangatongo. These titles may be used in any order (the one belonging to the area from which the speaker is coming usually first). Nevertheless, the sequences Lavaka Ata ʻUlukālala and ʻUlukālala Lavaka Ata were most common.[citation needed]


Royal monogram of Tupou VI



  • Tonga : King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV Coronation Silver Jubilee Medal (4 July 1992)[citation needed]
  • Tonga : King George Tupou V Coronation Medal (31 July 2008)[citation needed]
  • Tonga : Tonga Defence Services General Service (Bougainville) Medal (4 July 1995)[citation needed]
  • Tonga : Tonga Defence Services Long Service and Good Conduct Medal[citation needed]


Family tree[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tonga Broadcasting Archived 11 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Tupouto'a Lavaka, Tonga's new Crown Prince Matangi Tonga, 27 September 2006
  3. ^ "Crown Prince Tonga's first High Commissioner to Australia" Archived 17 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Matangi Tonga, 15 August 2008
  4. ^ read&id=41482 "Tonga’s Crown Prince made High Commissioner in Canberra", Radio New Zealand International, 15 August 2008
  5. ^ "Announcement of the Passing of His Late Majesty & Proclamation of the New King". Tonga Government Portal. 21 March 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  6. ^ "King of Tonga, an Old Leysian, hosts royal tour". The Leys School. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  7. ^ "One in seven countries has leader who studied in UK". BBC News. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  8. ^ "HRH The Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka: Tonga's First High Commissioner to Australia". Tonga Government Portal. 16 August 2008. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  9. ^ Tonga’s Crown Prince New Ambassador to Japan | Pacific Islands Report
  10. ^ Mic
  11. ^ Tongan Royal Heir Engaged to Marry Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Fonua, Pesi; Folau, Linny (4 July 2015). "HM King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u crowned at Centenary Church". Matangi Tonga. Vava'u Press. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  13. ^ Fox, Liam (4 July 2015). "Tonga crowns King Tupou VI in lavish public coronation, parties". Nukuʻalofa: ABC News. Retrieved 4 July 2015.

External links[edit]

Tupou VI
House of Tupou
Born: 12 July 1959
Political offices
Preceded by
Baron Vaea
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Sonatane Tuʻa Taumoepeau-Tupou
Preceded by
Prime Minister of Tonga
Succeeded by
Feleti Sevele
Diplomatic posts
New office High Commissioner to Australia
Succeeded by
Lātūfuipeka Tukuʻaho
New office Ambassador of Tonga to Japan
Succeeded by
Tania Laumanulupe Tupou
Regnal titles
Preceded by
George Tupou V
King of Tonga
Heir apparent:
Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala