Tongan Queen Mother absent from wedding

Last updated 20:45 12/07/2012

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Two prominent members of the Tongan royal family were reportedly absent from the wedding ceremony of the Crown Prince and his second cousin in the capital Nuku'alofa today.

Second-in-line to the throne, 27-year-old Siaosi Manumataongo 'Alaivahamama'o 'Aho'eitu Konstantin Tuku'aho – and now referred to as Prince Tuku'aho– was today married in a lavish ceremony to 25-year-old Sinaitakala Fakafanua, a lesser member of the royal family.

The marriage has caused division over the close genetic ties between the couple.

Absent from the ceremony were the Queen Mother, Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho, and the King's sister, Princess Pilolevu, who disapprove of the pairing, TVNZ reported. 

The groom's uncle, Lord Vaea, told TVNZ that the union was made to ensure the monarchy's survival for future generations and to strengthen royal bloodlines. 

"It's a new beginning for the royal household.  They are both in their 20s, we are looking at that to preserve that constitutional monarchy within Tonga," he said.

Tongan royal marriages are always arranged, with love only a part of it, and have to be approved by the monarch, King George Tupou IV.

Successive monarchs have tried to keep marriages within the family, but that has proved difficult, with there being only nine marriageable women and seven single men – now reduced by one on either side.

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- Fairfax Media

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