13 Sep 2006

Tongan Kings body to be flown home today

10:17 am on 13 September 2006

The body of Tonga's late King Taufa'ahau Tupou the 4th is on its way to Tonga after lying in state at his Auckland residence, Atalaga, yesterday.

His body is accompanied by members of the Royal Family on a New Zealand Air Force Hercules which has been specially fitted out for the trip.

Our correspondent in Nuku'Alofa, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the body will be met by the new King Siaosi Tupou V and prime minister Dr Feleti Sevele.

"It is expected also that there will be a fully fledged military parade to welcome and escort his body from the airport to the palace where he is expected to lie in state until Tuesday next week."