Wednesday, March 28, 2012

George Tupou V

George Tupou V (Tongan: Siaosi Tupou V, full name: Siaosi Tāufaʻāhau Manumataongo Tukuʻaho Tupou V; 4 May 1948 – 18 March 2012) was the King of Tonga following the death of his father, Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV, in 2006 until his own death.

Tupou V was born on 4 May 1948. He was the eldest son of the late King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV (1918–2006) and Queen Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe (b. 1926). He was appointed Crown Prince on 4 May 1966. In that role, he was better known by one of his traditional chiefly titles, Tupoutoʻa.

Tupou V attended King's School and King's College, both in Auckland. This was followed by periods at The Leys School in Cambridge, and another school in Switzerland. He also studied at Oxford University and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England.

As Crown Prince, Tupoutoʻa held great influence in Tongan politics, and was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1979 to 1998. He had substantial business interests in Tonga and abroad, and was co-chairman of the Shoreline Group/Tonfön. As king, his first proclamation was that he would dispose of all his business assets as soon as reasonably possible, and in accordance with the law. Tonfön had since been sold, but the King was unable during his lifetime to rid himself of the remainder of the Shoreline Group after the 2006 Nuku'alofa riots scared potential buyers from making a deal.

Though unmarried, Tupou V had a daughter born out of wedlock, 'Ilima Lei Fifita Tohi (born 1974). She married police officer Tulutulumafua i'Olotele Kalaniuvalu in 1997, and has three children. According to the Constitution of Tonga, ʻIlima is ineligible to acceed to the throne as only children born of a royal marriage may inherit the royal succession.

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