Viliami Tungī Mailefihi

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Prince Viliami Tungī Mailefihi
Tungī and Sālote.jpg
Prince Viliami and his wife Queen Salote
Prince Consort of Tonga
Tenure 5 April 1918 – 20 July 1941
7th Premier of Tonga
In office 30 June 1923 - 20 July 1941
Monarch Queen Salote Tupou III
Predecessor Hon. Tevita Tuʻivakano
Successor Hon. Solomone Ula Ata
Born (1887-11-01)1 November 1887
Died 20 July 1941(1941-07-20) (aged 53)
Burial Mala‘e Kula Royal Tombs
Spouse Queen Salote Tupou III of Tonga
Issue King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV of Tonga
Prince Uiliami Tuku‘aho
Prince Sione Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake
House Born to House of Tu'i Ha'atakalaua; Married into House of Tupou
Father Hon. Siaosi Tukuʻaho, 3rd Premier of Tonga
Mother Hon. Mele Siuʻilikutapu
Religion Free Wesleyan MethodistChurch

Viliami Tungī Mailefihi (1 November 1887 — 20 July 1941) was a Tongan high chieftain and Prince Consort of Queen Sālote Tupou III. He served as Prime Minister of Tonga from 1923 until his death in 1941.


The Royal Family of Tonga, Circa 1930. centre: Prince Tungī and Queen Sālote; left & front: their 3 sons Prince Taufa'ahau, Prince Sione and Prince Tuku'aho; right: The Queen's sister, Princess Fusipala

Prince Tungi was the son of The Honourable Siaosi Tukuʻaho (Lord Tungi of Tatakamotonga) Lwho served as Prime Minister of Tonga from to 1890 to 1893. Tungī's grandfather was Tungī Halatuituia. The line of Tungī chiefs fromhailed from the exalted village of Tatakamotong. They were descended from the defunctline of Tuʻi HaʻatakalauaHigh Chiefs, wo hin that time were more or less seen as deputy rulers s" under the Tuʻi Tong Kingsa. As such they had a fiercely loyal following among the people of Muʻa if not from the whole Hahake distric of Tongatapu Island. His mother, Lady Mele Siuʻilikutapu was the granddaughter of the Tuʻi Vavaʻu: Fīnau ʻUlukālala III (Tuapasi). As the nephew of the young and unmarried King Siaosi Tupou II, Tungi was the Heir-to-the-Throne, until the King's marriage and the birth of his first child, H.R.H. The Princess Sālote in 1900. In 1911 Prince Tungi represented the Tongan King at th eCoronation of King George V in London.[1]

Tungī was educated at Tupou College, Tonga and Newington College, Sydney, commencing in 1896, aged nine. He was one of seven Tongan nobles to attend Newington at the time.[2] He was a follower of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

He was selected by King Siaosi Tupou II to marry his oldest daughter and heiress presumptive, Princeds Sālote. The King favoured this match even though she was 12.5 years younger than Tungi. The Christian wedding ceremony took place on 19 September 1917. The traditional Tongan matrimonial ceremony (known as the Tu'uvala) was celebrated on 21 September. In less than a year, King Siaosi Tupou II would die, and his daughter (The Princess Sālote) would be crowned as the regnant Queen of Tonga.

The opening years of Queen Salote's reign were fraught with political difficulties. There was a scism between the two branches of the Methodist Church; and a republican movement threatened to unseat the fledgling monarch. The personality and high status of Prince Tungi helped to elevate the esteem of the people toward their young queen.

One of the most eminent accomplishments (contributed by Queen Salote and Prince Tungi) was the births of their children. Between them, The Queen and her Consort carried the blood of all three ancient royal dynasties: the Tu'i Tonga, the Tu'i Ha'atakalaua and the Tu'i Kanokupolu. Sadly, their son (The Prince Tuku'aho) would pass away in 1936. However, the other two sons (The Prince Taufa'ahau and The Prince Sione) carried and passed on the combined bloodlines of the three ancient royal dynasties.

Prince Tungi served as his wife's Prime Minister from 1923 until his death in 1941. His own experience helped him to train The Queen in the vocation of kingship and government. Prince Tungi will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity to all. His death in 1941 was a devastating blow to Queen Salote. Yet like England's Queen Victoria, she learned to serve her people inspite of her grief and loss.



Unfortunately, The Queen's eldest son and heir apparent (King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV) was a sad comparison to his dedicated and capable parents. As King, he spent spent enormous amounts of government funds on endless and useless travel. He craved to rub elbows with European kings and presidents, with little consideration for the needs of his people.

He stupidly squandered TOP$30-million in monies earned from the sale of Tongan passports. Those monies should have been under the control of the Tongan Government, and NEVER in the greedy hands of the incompetent King. For this ALONE he should have bern dethroned and exiled. However, that escapade was only one of many. King Tupou IV was an idiot and not worthy to be the successour of Queen Salote and Prince Tungi. King Tupou IV constantly tried to block democratic reforms and to stifle the freedom of the Press. The Nuku'alofa Riots of 2006 broke out in response to the absolutist tendencies of Tupou IV, who had been dead only a short time. If not for his successor (King George Tupou V) it is doubtful that Tonga's monarchy would have survived. Like his grandparents (Queen Salote and Prince Tungi) King George Tupou V provided wise leadership when Tonga most needed it.

Titles and honours[edit]

  • 1887-1893: The Honourable Viliami Mailefihi, Lord Tungī of Tatakamotonga
  • 1893-1900: Lord Viliami Tungī Mailefihi, The Heir Presumptive to the Throne of Tonga
  • 1900-1917: The Honourable Viliami Mailefihi, Lord Tungī of Tatakamotonga
  • 1917-1918: HRH Prince Viliami Tungī of Tonga
  • 1918-1923: HRH Prince Viliami Tungī, The Prince Consort of Tonga
  • 1923-1941: HRH Prince Viliami Tungī, The Prince Consort of Tonga, Prime Minister of Tonga


  1. ^ "A PRINCE OF TONGA.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 29 March 1911. p. 4. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Crown Prince of Tonga.". Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 20 November 1897. p. 19. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Royal Ark
  4. ^ Royal Ark
  5. ^ Royal Ark
Preceded by
Hon. Tevita Tuʻivakano
Prime Minister of Tonga
Succeeded by
Hon. Solomone Ula Ata OBE