Originally Posted by Kasumi
Lord Kalaniuvalu, aged 37, the eldest son of HRH the Princess Mele Siu'ilikutapu, who had died suddenly in Auckland, New Zealand, early Sunday morning, April 4, was buried at the Paepae 'o Tele'a Royal Cemetery, Lapaha on April 14th.
The royal family including King George Tupou V were present at the funeral.
This young man who died, Hon Filusi Tiosilusi (Theophilus) Fatu’ilangi Ngalumo’etutulu (Kalaniuvalu-Fotofili), 5th Lord Kalaniuvalu who died suddenly in 2010 was no ordinary lord - he was an extremely important person in Tonga.
Theophilus who was the head of the House of Kalaniuvalu was also the head of THE ancient royal line of Tonga (known as the Tui Tonga) who had ruled the Empire of Tonga for a thousand years up until 1865 when the last of their line saw his throne usurped by the present ruling dynasty.
To simplify things a lot the current kings of Tonga (the ones who usurped power in 1865) are a junior branch of a cadet line (the Tui Kanokopulu) of the ancient Tongan royal family. Essentially the Tui Tonga split many hundreds of years ago and this cadet branch were regional lords of some kind. However, the political and religious (pagan) power of the Tui Tonga seriously declined in the 18th Century (mainly due to foreign influences like Christianity) and when the penultimate Emperor of Tonga died in 1810 leaving behind just an infant son, Laufilitonga, the weaknesses came to the surface.
Prince Laufilitonga was too young to rule and the resulting power vacuum without a king allowed a junior member of the Tui Kanokopulu named Tāufaʻāhau I, whose family were the Chiefs of Ha'apai and not a major player at all, to rebel and begin taking over parts of Tonga beyond his own fief.
This brought him into direct conflict with Laufilitonga and the loyalists and a brief war broke out in 1826. Laufilitonga was defeated and the result of this was Prince Laufilitonga became a virtual prisoner and Chief Tāufaʻāhau increased in power massively.
This worried the other chiefs of Tonga so they tried to shore up the old regime by installing Laufilitonga as emperor in 1827 but it was clear he was now just a figurehead and the old empire now split into a dozen component parts. So the next trick Tāufaʻāhau had up his sleave was to get baptised in 1831, take the name "George" and declare himself to be King George I of Tonga. This got the powerful Christian missionaries on his side and the outlying islands fell to "King George" one by one while the main capital island, Tongatapu, erupted into civil war.
Tāufaʻāhau (aka Kng George) next defeated his rivals within his own clan to became the Head of the Tui Kanokopulu clan in 1845; adopting the subsidiary title "Tupou".
In 1852 the last independent chief (Takai Mo Fa'e) was defeated and King George Tupou was the undisputed ruler of the islands....
That is except for the powerless Emperor Laufilitonga who was still alive. He died in 1865 and the ancient, traditional monarchy was abolished by decree of Tonga's new Christian ruler who, in 1875, promulgated a constitution for the Kingdom of Tonga and had himself crowned in the Christian manner as King George Tupou I.
But that's not the end of the story. Laufilitonga had several sons and one of these (from whom the deceased subject of this piece of writing is descended from) was created the first Lord Kalaniuvalu by King George Tupou in 1875.
The line goes like this:
1. Emperor Laufilitonga (b.1797, installed 1827, d.1865)
2. Lord Viliami Fatafehi-’o-Lapaha Kalaniuvalu (b. 1828, d. 1903) (son of 1)
3. Amelia Leafa’-i-tulangi Kalaniuvalu Fotofili (b. 1879, d. 1926 (dau of 2)
4. Lord Semisi Fatafehi Fonua Kalaniuvalu-Fotofili (b.1911, d.1962) (son of 3)
5. Lord Sosiua Ngalumoetutulu Kalaniuvalu-Fotofili (b.1936,d.1999) (son of 4)
6. Lord Filusi Tiosilusi Ngalumoetutulu Kalaniuvalu-Fotofili, (1972-2010) (son of 5 and the subject of this comment)
Number 6 - whose Anglicized name was Theophilus - sadly died of a heart attack in New Zealand while still quite young and without issue. He was the 5th hereditary lord of Kalaniuvalu and heir to the very ancient imperial throne and spiritual office of the Tui Tonga that had ruled Tongatupa for 1,000 years.
Logically he would be succeeded by his younger brother:
The Hon Tepuiti Tupoulahi Mailefihi Fatuilangi Ngalu Mo’etutulu (Kalaniuvalu-Fotofili), 11th Lord Fotofili. b. at Nuku’alofa, 1975 and who m. at the Free Wesleyan Centenary Church, Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, 28th August 2010 to Marcella Margaret Tupoumoheofo [The Hon Lady Fotofili] (b. 1977), elder daughter of H.E. Sonatane Tu’akinamolahi Taumoepeau Tupou.
I don't know if the official King of Tonga (George Tupou VI) has designated this man is the 7th Lord Kalaniuvalu or not and I don't know if this needs to happen for him to inherit the title.
Maybe someone in Tonga can help?