18 Aug 2006

Tonga King remains gravely ill in Auckland hospital

10:07 am on 18 August 2006

Tonga's King Tupou the fourth remains gravely ill in Auckland's Mercy Hospital.

A spokesman for the Royal Family says the King is stable and had a comfortable night with his daughter Princess Pilolevu at his side.

Our Tongan correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says many anticipate the King's passing to signal political change.

He says the next in line to the throne, Crown Prince Tupouto'a, is more open to reform.

He says Tongans are preparing themselves for news of the King's death any day.