25 Jan 2006

Tahitian heir maintains monarchy exists despite French denials

8:20 pm on 25 January 2006

The man calling for France to return the Tahitian tiare crown, the Prince Royal Tauatomo Mairau, is challenging France to prove that the monarchy in Tahiti no longer exists.

This comes as the French high commission in Papeete said that France didn't recognise a king in Tahiti nor the government announced by Tauatomo Mairau.

The high commission says France has approved the autonomy statute of 2004 for French Polynesia but Tauatomo Mairau says that's just politics which cannot override the treaty of 1880 between France and the King of Tahiti.

"The King of Tahiti has never been decapitated, his head was not cut off. It's like in England, the monarch is still there, still alive."

Tauatomo Mairau says he has appointed a foreign minister who is tasked to get France to return the monarchy's gold assets seized by President Charles de Gaulle.