Thursday, 31 July 2008

Coronation of King George Tupou V of Tonga

Hundreds of dignitaries are arriving in Tonga to see King George Tupou V enthroned in a Christian ceremony on Friday. The king, 60, was given roasted pig and kava, a mild narcotic drink, to mark his coronation in a traditional ceremony on Wednesday.

On Tonga's main island, Tongatapu, buildings and fences are decorated in bunting in the national colours, red and white. Hundreds of banners congratulating the king have been hung across roads.

Royals arrive

Thousands of visitors arrived in Tonga on Thursday, ahead of the main event on Friday. Villagers presented the king with dozens of roast pigs.

These visitors included overseas Tongans and hundreds of dignitaries, including other royals such as Britain's Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Crown Prince of Japan and Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand. There will also be many South Pacific royals.

Prime Minister Sevele defended the lavish nature of the celebrations, saying they were part of Tongan custom in Polynesia's last remaining monarchy. Officials also pointed out that guests were likely to spend large amounts of money during their stay.

Source: BBC News

The recently inducted President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Stephen Poxon,
is among the special guests now in Tonga, where the Methodist Church is strong, for the King's coronation. We will be eagerly looking forward to reading about it all both in his blog and in the Methodist Recorder.

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