Academic Sees Signs Of Modernization In Tonga Royal Family

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Princesses engaged to marry commoners cited as evidence

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 11, 2013) – An academic in Pacific politics says two Tongan princesses who are breaking tradition by marrying commoners are a sign of the royal family modernising.

Princess Salote Luepepau’u Tuita who is sixth in line to the throne and her younger sister Frederica Tuita, who is tenth in line, are engaged to marry men who are outside of the family.

The Pasifika Director at New Zealand’s Massey University, Dr Malakai Koloamatangi, says Tongan royals are traditionally expected to marry within the family but options are few.

"It is something that we as Tongans will have to accept, that more and more of these marriages will take place and if the royal family is going to survive in any effective way, it will have to accept the fact that members will have to marry outside the royal circle."

Dr Malakai Koloamatangi says King Tupou the Sixth, whose sister is the mother to the Princesses, could be lenient and allow the marriages to go ahead.

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