A match made in heaven was how the individuals of the tiny island Kingdom of Tonga within the South Pacific described the approaching marriage of their princess.
In an article printed by The Fiji Occasions on July 10, 1976, it was actually a well-favoured connection of royal and noble bloodlines which had gained the approval of Tonga’s high households.
Her Royal Highness, Princess Salote Mafilao Pilolevu, the one daughter of the King of Tonga, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, and Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho, was to wed Captain S Ma’ulupekotofa Tuita, the eldest son of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honorable Tuita’and Fatafehi Tuita within the Royal Chapel on July 20.
Greater than 4500 invites had already gone out to South Pacific leaders and households related with the Tongan the Aristocracy and preparations had already begun for the largest Royal occasion in Tonga for the reason that King’s coronation in 1967.
“There isn’t any relaxation in Tonga now,” Woman Liku Sukuna, the widow of Fiji’s first statesman and knight, the late Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, stated in Fiji on her return from a go to to Nukualofa.
She stated the few inns in Tonga have been already booked out and the houses of nobles ready to accommodate high-born relations from neighbouring islands.
Island leaders and nearly all of the excessive chiefs from Fiji have been to attend the ceremonies. Ratu George Cokanauto Tu’uakitau, the son of Fiji’s former Deputy Prime Minister, the late Ratu Sir Edward Cakobau, was to be greatest man. “Tongan households residing abroad are chartering plane to return residence for the event.”
Woman Liku stated. “Every little thing will probably be executed in line with Tongan customized.”
One of many first duties of arriving friends could be to go to the Royal Palace after which the house of the bridegroom to current conventional marriage ceremony items.
These will embrace many tons of of finely woven mats product of voivoi (dried leaves), tapa fabric (dyed mulberry bark fabric) and tabua (whales tooth).
The marriage ceremony within the Royal Chapel, the place royalty solely could also be married, was to start at 10am on July 20.
The 24-year-old princess would then put on a Western-style white robe and veil and her bridegroom, additionally 24, the uniform of the Tongan Military.
His fellow officers would then kind an arch of honor with their swords because the couple emerge from the chapel and proceed to the Royal Palace grounds, the place a lot of the friends will probably be ready for the marriage breakfast to start.
The next day would characteristic Tonga-style feasting and dancing.
“All Tonga will sing,” Woman Liku stated. Every village in Tonga has taken on particular duties for the celebrations.
Some have been constructing and adorning the palm leaf shelters for friends to take a seat and feast in, offering dancers and music and plenty of others have been contributing and cooking the tons of of pigs, chickens, fish and root greens for the occasion.
On July 22, Princess Pilolevu and Captain Ma’ulupekotofa would participate within the tu’u vala, the normal Royal Tongan bridal ceremony.
For this they’d put on their nationwide costume, primarily yards of tapa fabric product of mulberry bark crushed right into a tender fabric with wood mallets and stencilled with brown vegetable dye in conventional patterns.
Hundreds of individuals have been to witness the traditional ceremony which has joined Tongan Royalty for a lot of generations.
The individuals of Tonga had at all times been particularly keen on Princess Pilolevu, who acquired the identical sort of respect and deeply-felt affection which her grandmother, the late Queen Salote, may command.
Tongans stated she had a lot of her grandmother’s persona and regal grace, and nonetheless held to the rules and traditions Queen Salote taught her as a baby.
As a bride, she would go to the house of her new husband. Woman Liku stated they’d later go to England, the place Captain Ma’ulupekotofa would full his research.