TONGA ROYAL FAMILY MUM ON REPORTED BIRTH

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (PINA, Nov. 18) — People close to Tonga’s royal family are saying nothing about a report that a baby was born last week to Lupepau‘u Fusitu‘a and her husband Matai‘ulua Fusitu‘a.

Lupepau‘u, the eldest daughter of Princess Pilolevu Tuita, is seventh in line to the Tongan throne, and her baby will be the king of Tonga’s first great-grandchild.

Lupepau‘u left Tonga recently to return to her home in Beijing, China, where she is Tonga’s honorary consul.

When asked to confirm or deny the report, a friend of the royal family, who did not want to be named. said: "If you asked me I would say the baby was not born at the weekend, and whether it was due this week or next I am not going to say, because the media will twist this whatever we say."

The friend said a baby was expected, but there would be no announcement from the family. "Who’s business is this anyway?"

The report that Lupepau‘u had given birth to a daughter only five months after her June 10 white wedding appeared in the Tongan language newspaper Taimi ‘o Tonga on Nov. 11.

Tongans are discussing the reported birth, and wondering if there will be a family announcement before the New Year, when the names of the monarch’s immediate family, and their birth dates, are usually posted on the government’s official annual calendar.

November 18, 2003

Pacific Islands New Association: www.pinanius.org

 

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