Royal romance is in the air

HRH Princess Angelika Latūfuipeka Halaevalu Mata'aho Napua-Okalani Tuku'aho, 30, is expected to choose a husband this year.

As the only daughter of King Tupou VI, and number four in succession to the throne, her future partner would have to come from a high chiefly bloodline.

Two potential candidates were reported to be the sons of either Lord Nuku of Kolonga, Tongatapu or Lord Malupo of ‘Uiha, Ha’apai.

Lord Nuku and his kāinga proposed his son Faka'osifono to the Princess on January 17.

However, Lord Malupo and his son Makahokovalu have yet to present their proposal to Her Royal Highness.

The royals' nuptials are always with members of the Tongan nobility to ensure their blue blood is preserved and the King's Chiefs are selectively promoted to the royal line.

Tonga’s constitution stipulates the King has the power to select partners for the royal family after candidates and their families fulfil the traditional demands of courtship.

Recent royal weddings have been highly debated  and have also attracted substantial international media attention.

The Hon Lupepau’u Tuita Taione, number six in line to the throne, together with her young sister Frederica Tuita Filipe, wed commoners ‘Epeli Taione and Johnny Filipe respectively in August last year.

Despite publically criticising royal arranged marriages and choosing love matches of their own, the King did not intervene.

Frederica said the arranged marriage system "was extremely arrogant and only perpetuated the motive behind social climbers."

Royals marrying commoners:

Some royals refuse to accept arranged marriage and instead, marry for love.

Prince Mailefihi (now Prince Tu’ipelehake) married commoner Mele Vikatolia Faletau in 1983. King Tupou IV revoked his rights to the succession as well as his title.

He subsequently married former beauty queen Ma’ata Mo’ungaloa in 1996 and then ‘Ene’io Tatafu, whom he has recently divorced.

He is now married to Fifita Holeva. His princely title was restored by King George V in 2009.

In 1980, the King’s third child, Prince Fatafehi Tuku’aho, married Heimataura Anderson,  daughter of famous Tongan composer and singer  Tu’imala Kaho.

King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV then stripped him of his royal titles. Although he died in 2004 as Noble Ma’atu, King George V restored them to his son Prince Tungi in 2009.  

In 1969, the 13th in line to the throne, Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu, married Tongan commoner Siosiua Tu'iono (Josh) Liava’a, who went on to become an Auckland policeman.

Siu'ilikutapu was dragged back to Nuku’alofa and had her marriage annulled. Although Siu’ilikutapu was not stripped of her title, she was then ordered to marry Hon Kalaniuvalu Fotofili.

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