August 11, 2022

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee commemorates the legacy of the Tongan monarch

LONDON – Tonga’s chief diplomat to the UK will mirror on two monarchs this weekend as Britain and the Commonwealth rejoice Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee.

There may be, after all, Elizabeth, who will rejoice 70 years on the throne along with her 4 days of parades and pomp.

However Excessive Commissioner Titilupe Fanetupouvava’u Tu’ivakano can even bear in mind her great-grandmother Queen Salote Tupou III, who endeared herself to the British by driving an open-top carriage by way of the streets of London throughout Elizabeth’s coronation parade in 1953.

Regardless of the pouring rain, Queen Salote refused to shut the highest in a present of respect for the brand new monarch, drawing cheers from the revelers who lined the streets.

“Each single Tongan is aware of about this expertise,” Tu’ivakano informed The Related Press. “I’ve even had a number of folks come as much as me[in London]and ask, ‘Are you Tongan?’ These are women who have been there 70 years in the past. … They nonetheless bear in mind what occurred.”


Tonga is an instance of how Britain’s relationship with the world has modified over time Reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

The South Pacific archipelago of 170 islands was a British protectorate on the time of the coronation. It grew to become totally unbiased in 1970 and joined the Commonwealth, a voluntary affiliation of 54 nations that emerged from the British Empire and is headed by Elizabeth.

Britain labored intently with Australia and New Zealandtwo extra Commonwealth nations to assist Tonga after a volcanic eruption and tsunami devastated the islands earlier this yr.

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Queen Salote was simply 18 when she ascended the throne in 1918. She is credited with laying the groundwork for independence, though she died in 1965 earlier than it grew to become a actuality.

Her actions on the coronation helped cement ties between the 2 nations, the diplomat mentioned.

“There have been crowds and crowds witnessing this auspicious event and this present of conventional Tongan respect handed down from technology to technology,” she mentioned. “I feel in a manner this mirrored not solely the connection between the UK and Tonga, but additionally between the folks of the UK who have been there and likewise the folks of Tonga.”

One of many witnesses to the occasion was David Hodge, a younger soldier who took half within the parade. Contemporary from a submit in what was then Malaya, Hodge’s unit of the Somerset Gentle Infantry was positioned immediately behind the Tongan monarch’s carriage.


“The crowds liked her sitting in an open carriage, completely ignoring the climate and having a beautiful smile on her face the entire time,” Hodge wrote on the fortieth anniversary of the coronation in 1993. “Her happiness summed up the entire day.” for an awesome many individuals that day.”

Hodge died in 2013. However his daughter Susan Duddridge might be dancing in Sunday’s anniversary competitors, making a direct hyperlink between the coronation parade and this weekend’s celebrations.

She’s going to consider her father as she joins 10,000 performers for the procession that ends outdoors of Buckingham Palace.

“My father was very proud when he was chosen to march on the coronation, so it’s nice to have the chance to comply with in his footsteps,” she mentioned. “And I’m simply as proud to be part of this nice day.”

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Getting ready for the anniversary has additionally been a time of reflection for Tonga’s Excessive Commissioner, who has a small etching of Queen Elizabeth II on her desk and an enormous black-and-white {photograph} of her great-grandmother on her workplace wall.

Tu’ivakano sees similarities between the 2 queens from reverse sides of the world. Each have been topped at a younger age and took their place in a male-dominated world. However each have turn out to be icons in their very own proper and luxuriate in respect that has lasted for generations.

As she removes the image of Queen Salote from the wall to pose for {a photograph}, Tu’ivakano gently touches the sting of the body and handles it with nice care. It’s nearly just like the ghost of the queen isn’t distant.

Her great-grandmother, whom she by no means met, nonetheless serves as her information. When requested what she would say to Queen Salote if given the prospect, she replies quietly.

“I’d inform her that she left an awesome legacy, not just for our household, however for Tonga and the Pacific area and likewise for the entire world,” she mentioned. “All of us tried to comply with swimsuit. I’d inform her that.”



Observe AP’s protection of Queen Elizabeth II at

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