List of monarchs of Tonga

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King of Tonga
Coat of arms of Tonga.svg
Ulukalala Lavaka Ata.jpg
ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI
since 18 March 2012
Style His Majesty
Heir apparent Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala
First monarch George Tupou I
Formation4 December 1845
Residence Royal Palace, Nukuʻalofa
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This is a list of monarchs of Tonga since 1845, after the constitutional role of the monarch was established. Tonga is the only sovereign indigenous monarchy in Oceania. The first monarch was George Tupou I.

Tonga country in Oceania

Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres (290 sq mi) scattered over 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) of the southern Pacific Ocean. The sovereign state has a population of 100,651 people, of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu.

Constitution of Tonga

The Constitution of Tonga is supreme law under which the Government of Tonga operates. It was enacted by King George Tupou I on 4 November 1875. It stipulates the makeup of the Tongan Government and the balance between its executive, legislature, and judiciary. The anniversary of its passage is celebrated annually as Tonga's Constitution Day.

Sovereignty concept that a state or governing body has the right and power to govern itself without outside interference

Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.


2008 cession of powers

Three days before his coronation on 1 August 2008, then-King George Tupou V announced that he would relinquish most of his powers and be guided by his Prime Minister's recommendations on most matters. [1]

George Tupou V King of Tonga

George Tupou V was the King of Tonga from the death of his father Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV in 2006 until his own death six years later.

Prime Minister of Tonga position

The prime minister of Tonga is the country's head of government. Tonga is a monarchy with the king, currently Tupou VI, as head of state.. The current prime minister is ʻAkilisi Pōhiva, in office since 30 December 2014.

Lists of earlier monarchs of Tonga

The Tuʻi Tonga is a line of Tongan kings, which originated in the 10th century with the mythical ʻAhoʻeitu; withdrew from political power in the 15th century by yielding to the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua; and died out with Laufilitonga in 1865. Today its descendants still live forth in the chiefly line of Kalaniuvalu.

The Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua is a dynasty of Tongan kings which originated in the 14th century and eclipsed the Tui Tonga taking over the power from the Tuʻi Tonga origin line. It merged power in the 18th century with the Tuʻi Kanokupolu dynasty, and became existent only esotericly by the end of the 18th century.

  1. Moʻungāmotuʻa – around 1470; might have been first installed as viceroy by his older brother Kauʻulufonua I the incumbent Tuʻi Tonga, as the latter remained in his residence on the high grounds of Olotele in Muʻa, while he had to stay on the lowlaying lands of Fonuamotu, reclaimed from the lagoon. These two areas were separated by the Fonuamoa road. As such his followers became known as the Kauhalalalo while the chiefs associated with the Tuʻi Tonga line became known as Kauhalaʻuta. However considering what happened after, it seems that later Moʻungāmotuʻa seized all the power from his brother although he did not dare to wipe out completely the Tuʻi Tonga. Instead he sent Kauʻulufonua away to Samoa and reigned in his name until his new dynasty, the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua line had grown powerful to eclipse the Tuʻi Tonga. That took about a century.
  2. Tanekingaʻotonga
  3. Kau Vaka'uta - Tu'i 'Eua
  4. Siulangapō
  5. Vakalahi-Moheʻuli – around 1550, he allowed the Tuʻi Tonga to come back from exile in Samoa
  6. Moʻunga ʻo Tonga – he had several sons who he appointed as governors during his lifetime. One of them, Ngata, was appointed to the Hihifo district and imperceptedly started the Tuʻi Kanokupolu line. A daughter married Fatafehi, the Tuʻi Tonga, starting a blood relationship between the two dynasties.
  7. Fotofili - was met by Abel Tasman in 1643
  8. Vaea - discovered that the Tuʻi Kanokupolu had grown into a serious rival, and fought a civil war against Mataelehaʻamea. His daughter was the last one to marry a Tuʻi Tonga, ʻUluakimata II
  9. Moeakiola - contemporary with Tuʻi Tonga Tuʻipulotu I, who preferred a Tuʻi Kanokupolu princess as wife
  10. Tatafu - first one not to be a son of his predecessor, he was the son of Fotofili
  11. Kafoamotalau - a son of Vaea, showing quick successions, troubles, and a decline with the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua line; contemporary with Tuʻi Tonga Fakanaʻanaʻa
  12. Tuʻionukulave
  13. Silivakaifanga
  14. Fuatakifolaha - son of Tongatangataulupekifolaha, who was not a Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua ; grandson of Mataelehaʻamea the Tuʻi Kanokupolu; therefore troubles and quick successions had still not ceased
  15. Tupoulahi - gave up around 1771 his title as Tuʻi Kanokupolu because of old age and may have been offered the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua title instead. Generally, however, it is doubted whether he was ever formally installed.
  16. Maealiuaki - was also a previous Tuʻi Kanokupolu, and also was offered the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua title as an old age gift. It is not sure whether he really accepted or considered himself as retired. Met in that state with Captain Cook in 1777; died shortly after. With him went the last real Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua. Any successor named by history after him is dubious at best.
  17. Mumui - may or may not have been the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua, depending on whether his older brother Maealiuaki respectively was it not or was it
  18. Toafunaki - was mentioned around 1790 as the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua by the missionaries, but seems never to have been officially installed. Died young in 1797 and his reburial in 1799 was an opportunity for the assassination of the Tuʻi Kanokupolu Tukuʻaho.
  19. Mulikihaʻamea - even more unsure whether he ever was a real Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua or not. He also was Tuʻi Kanokupolu for a while. Some believe that he came after Maealiuaki, others see him instead of Toafunaki. Whatever the case, by this time the title had become defunct, but it would be his descendants who would claim to have been the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua otherwise.

Tuʻi Kanokupolu (chiefs) are a junior rank of the Haʻa Tuʻi in Tonga.

List of monarchs of Tonga (1845–present)

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
George Tupou I (1797-12-04)4 December 1797 – 18 February 1893(1893-02-18) (aged 95)4 December 184518 February 1893Son of Tupoutoʻa, 17th Tuʻi Kanokupolu Tupou George Tupou I, c. 1880s.jpg
George Tupou II (1874-06-18)18 June 1874 – 5 April 1918(1918-04-05) (aged 43)18 February 18935 April 1918Double Great-grandson of George Tupou ITupou George Tupou II of Tonga.jpg
Sālote Tupou III (1900-03-13)13 March 1900 – 16 December 1965(1965-12-16) (aged 65)5 April 191816 December 1965Daughter of George Tupou IITupou Salote Tupou III of Tonga in coronation robe-crop.jpg
Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV (1918-07-04)4 July 1918 – 10 September 2006(2006-09-10) (aged 88)16 December 196510 September 2006Son of Sālote Tupou IIITupou Tupouto`a Tungi.jpg
George Tupou V (1948-05-04)4 May 1948 – 18 March 2012(2012-03-18) (aged 63)11 September 200618 March 2012Son of Tāufaʻahau Tupou IVTupou USMC-110802-M-AI118-010 (cropped).jpg
ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI (1959-07-12) 12 July 1959 (age 59)18 March 2012IncumbentSon of Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IVTupou Ulukalala Lavaka Ata.jpg

Royal Standard

Family tree

See also

Politics of Tonga

Politics of Tonga takes place in a framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby the King is the Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Tonga's Prime Minister is currently appointed by the King from among the members of Parliament after having won the support of a majority of its members. Executive power is vested in the Cabinet of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in the King in Parliament, and judicial power is vested in the supreme court.

Crown of Tonga

The Crown of Tonga was minted in 1873 for George Tupou I at the behest of his prime minister, The Reverend Shirley Waldemar Baker. The crown was fashioned by the jewellery firm of Hardy Brothers of Sydney, Australia. The gold crown of Tonga is reputedly the largest and heaviest crown in the world.

The order of succession to the throne of Tonga is laid down in the 1875 constitution. The crown descends according to male-preference cognatic primogeniture. Only legitimate descendants through legitimate line of King George Tupou I's son and grandson, Crown Prince Tēvita ʻUnga and Prince ʻUelingatoni Ngū, are entitled to succeed. A person loses his or her right of succession and deprives his or her descendants of their right of succession if he or she marries without the monarch's permission.

Related Research Articles

History of Tonga aspect of history

The history of Tonga is recorded since the century after 900 BC, when seafarers associated with the Lapita diaspora first settled the islands which now make up the Kingdom of Tonga. Along with Fiji and Samoa, the area served as a gateway into the rest of the Pacific region known as Polynesia. Ancient Tongan mythologies recorded by early European explorers report the islands of 'Ata and Tongatapu as the first islands having been hauled to the surface from the deep ocean by Maui.

Nukuʻalofa Place in Tongatapu, Tonga

Nukuʻalofa is the capital of Tonga. It is located on the north coast of the island of Tongatapu, in the southernmost island group of Tonga.

Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV King of Tonga

Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV, son of Queen Sālote Tupou III and her consort Prince Viliami Tungī Mailefihi, was the king of Tonga from the death of his mother in 1965 until his own death in 2006.

George Tupou II King of Tonga

Siaosi Tupou II, King of Tonga was the King of Tonga from 18 February 1893 until his death. He was officially crowned at Nukuʻalofa, on 17 March 1893. He was also the 20th Tuʻi Kanokupolu.

George Tupou I King of Tonga

George Tupou I, King of Tonga was originally known as Tāufaʻāhau I, or Tupou Maeakafa Ngininginiofolanga in modern spelling. He adopted the name Siaosi, the Tongan version of George, after King George III of the United Kingdom, when he was baptized in 1831. His nickname was Lopa-ukamea, meaning iron cable.

Tuʻi Tonga Empire former country

The Tuʻi Tonga Empire, or Tongan Empire, are descriptions sometimes given to Tongan expansionism and projected hegemony in Oceania which began around 950 CE, reaching its peak during the period 1200–1500.

Coat of arms of Tonga coat of arms

The coat of arms or national seal of Tonga was designed in 1875 with the creation of the constitution.

Fīnau ʻUlukālala was a dynasty of six important hereditary chiefs from Vavaʻu, currently in the kingdom of Tonga. Started somewhere in the 18th century, died out in 1960. His original estate was Tuʻanuku, and his nickname and that of the village is Tavakefaiʻana.

Viliami Tungī Mailefihi 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 Tuʻipelehake is the second highest ranking chiefly title in Tonga. In the absence of the ancient Tuʻi Faleua title, the Tuʻipelehake title is second in rank after the King's title, Tu'i Kanokupolu. There have been several holders of the title mainly from the ruling royal family, from princes to prime ministers. It is Tongan custom to refer to the holder by his customary title, only adding his given name if confusion may arise. For example, Tuʻi Pelehake (ʻUluvalu).

The Battle of Velata was fought at Tau'akipulu, Haʻapai, Tonga in September 1826, between Laufilitonga, monarch of the Tuʻi Tonga dynasty, and Taufa'ahau, heir apparent to the Tu'i Kanokupolu dynasty and then monarch of Tonga.

Aleamotuʻa was the 18th Tu'i Kanokupolu of Tonga, the third lineage of Tongan Kings with the political and military power who ruled in support of the Tu'i Tonga.

Laufilitonga Tongan king

Fatafehi Laufilitonga was the 39th and last Tuʻi Tonga, a dynasty of kings in Tonga during the Tuʻi Tonga Empire.

Coronations in Oceania

Coronations in Oceania are, or were, held in the following countries:

Lavinia Veiongo

Lavinia Veiongo Fotu was the Queen consort of Tonga from 1899 to 1902, and the first wife of George Tupou II.