|August 13, 2008||Permalink|
On August 1st, the Kingdom of Tonga crowned its newest ruler, King George Tupou V. In a ceremony that lasted for days, and cost over $2.5 million (US), the 60-year old King was crowned as one of the few remaining monarchs with true ruling power - but that is about to change. In 2006, pro-democracy riots shook the small island nation of 112,000. The coronation was postponed, and now King George pledges that "The Sovereign of the only Polynesian kingdom... is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people." He promised to cede most power to a prime minister, and to hold parliamentary elections in 2010. (14 photos total)
The King of Tonga George Tupou V, right, is crowned by His Grace the Archbishop Jabez Bryce in Nuku'aloka,Tonga, Friday, Aug. 1, 2008. The coronation, which included singing by a choir of more than 300, was the first in Tonga since 1967 when King George V's father, the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, ascended to the throne. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald)
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