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royalcello

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Last Updated: Friday, 7 July 2006, 04:36 GMT 05:36 UK
                                                                                                       
                       
                               
                                        Tongan royals killed in car crash                                
                       
               
                                                                                                                                       
                       
                                King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV                                
King Taufa'ahau was the uncle of the dead prince
                       
                       
                                Two members of Tonga's royal family have been killed in a car crash during a visit to the United States.

Prince Tu'ipelehake, Princess Kaimana and their driver died when a teenager crashed her car into their vehicle.

The two royals were visiting members of the Tongan community in the San Francisco Bay Area to discuss political reforms in the Pacific archipelago.

Prince Tu'ipelehake, a nephew of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, was the leading reformist in the Tongan royal family.

Tonga is the last monarchy in the Pacific and most of its politicians are appointed by the 88-year-old king rather than elected.

Tributes paid

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters described the deaths as a "tragedy" and praised Prince Tu'ipelehake's efforts at reform.

"He pursued this goal with sensitivity and perception, mixed with a strong determination to achieve progress," Mr Peters said.

                       

                                       
                       
                                                                                       
                       
                               

The accident happened on Wednesday in Menlo Park, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of San Francisco.

Police said Edith Delgado, 18, was racing her car on the highway when she tried to overtake the sports utility vehicle carrying the royal couple.

Ms Delgado's car slammed into the driver's side of the SUV, causing it to swerve across several lanes before tumbling to a stop on its roof.

Driver detained

Prince Tu'ipelehake, 56, Princess Kaimana, 46, and their driver, Vinisia Hefa, 36, were all killed.

Ms Delgado, who was uninjured, has been detained on suspicion of manslaughter and engaging in a speed contest, police said.

Tonga is a 170-island archipelago about halfway between Australia and Tahiti.

It has a population of 108,000 and its economy is dependent on pumpkin and vanilla exports, fishing, foreign aid and remittances from Tongans living abroad.

Prince Tu'ipelehake had been scheduled to speak to Tongans in San Bruno, California on Thursday before visiting Tongan communities in other parts of the US.                                                        

Vecchiolarry

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Hello,

 

What a terrible thing to happen to anybody and doubly so when they are visitors.

 

I know next to nothing about the Tongan Royal Family.  Was this prince the heir to the crown?

Does anybody know the order of succession for Tonga?

 

Larry


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Larry


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Larry,Crown Prince Tupoutoa is the heir to the throne.He is a confirmed bachelor.I don't know if he wants to be the next monarch.Princess Pilolevu,who is the King's daughter,is very popular,as she has been a very good Regent.She is an advocate of constitutional reform,but not to the extent that was being promoted by Prince Tuipelehake.

 

Aidan.

Vecchiolarry

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Reply with quote  #4 

Thanks Aidan,

 

I knew you would know more about the Tongans than most of us.

 

Perhaps it is time for another Queen in Tonga!  Queen Salote certainly knew how to be a queen and certainly made her country known in the world....

A bachelor king is often just taking up time and space in the monarchical world.

 

Larry


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Larry


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Larry, I have an old friend who has a connection to Tonga.He was involved in training the Royal Tongan Defence Force many years ago.He became a good friend of the Tongan King.

New Zealand has very strong ties with Tonga,not only because both countries are members of the British Commonwealth,but because of the strong Tongan community,who are mainly located in Auckland.There are a few Tongans here in Wellington.

 

Aidan.

Gabino35

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Reply with quote  #6 
I know it’s quite an old thread but even I have a connection with Tonga. Before starting working with Los Angeles DUI lawyer, I was living there. It was truly an all-together a different world and really loved my time there.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #7 
I strongly suspect the above of being spam, even if a bit more cunningly disguised than usual. I would certainly advise against clicking the embedded link.
Elizabelo_II

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Reply with quote  #8 
It's funny reading these posts from long defunct members talking of the late king George Tupou V as someone who may not want to be King, seeing how openly he represented the Crown. Especially since the posts came a mere 2 months before the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV's death and King George Tupou V's own ascension.
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