The Origins of the Tongan Monarchy

  July 21, 2009 at 2:22 am by

The Tongan monarchy is reported to have held the most power in the 13th century. By the next century, there were three royal lines in Tonga. This arose when the King retained his spiritual authority, but delegated all other power to his brother; this happened again later with the second royal line, creating the third. Day-to-day ruling was carried out by Tu’i Ha’atakalaua and Tu’i Kanokupolu lines; it was the Tu’i Tonga line who had retained spiritual authority.

The three lines continued, and in the 17th and 18th centuries conversion to Christianity began, and Taufa’ahau, of the Tu’i Kanokupolu line was one of the first royals to convert. Taufa’ahau was named Siaosi (George) (his consort became Salote, or Charlotte), representing the King and Queen of England. Captain Cook made several visits to the island nation, and shortly after the last one the three lines began to compete for dominance.

George went on to unite the islands of Tonga, and the present dynasty was founded when he was crowned King George Tupou I in 1845.

For more information, see this website.

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