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Royalty & Nobility

Tongans await royal funeral date

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

The date of Tonga's Royal Funeral has yet to be made official, but observers awaiting an official announcement today are forecasting a Saturday or Sunday burial for the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

Following a midday meeting of the Privy Council, a spokesperson for the Lord Chamberlain's Office said that the Prime Minister had instructed that the details of funeral programme should not be released until he makes his press statement later today on national television.

The Prime Minister Hon. Dr Feleti Sevele returned to Tonga from Auckland this morning.

Meanwhile, Tonga is preparing to receive the king on Wednesday on a Royal New Zealand Airforce C130 aircraft from Whenuapai airbase to Tonga where he will lie in state for, possibly, three days.