1 Aug 2008

Tonga's king crowned in church service

3:57 pm on 1 August 2008

The King of Tonga has been crowned before visiting royalty, heads of state, and politicians.

The service for King George Tupou V took place in the centenary church in the capital, Nuku'alofa.

Richard Pamatatau reports.

"The coronation was a masterpiece of music and pageantry. A 300-strong choir and brass band filled the church with beautiful sound. King George, in en ermine and velvet robe, looked solemn as the Archbishop of Polynesia placed the crown on his head. The New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, described the coronation as magnificent and says Tonga is moving to a new era."