Islanders mourn king, grow wary of successor
NUKU’ALOFA | Homes swathed in purple and black formed a bright bow running from the countryside to cities of Tonga as the mourning nation honored and buried their late King George Tupou V on Tuesday.
That so many took the care to adorn their homes and businesses testifies to the reverence Tongans give to the idea of the monarchy, even after the king ceded many of his own powers in 2008 to usher in an era of democracy.
But his March 18 death is also raising questions about whether his younger brother, Tupou VI, will continue his legacy.
The new king is seen by many here as more conservative than his predecessor, and some fear he could stall or even reverse the political progress made in this small Pacific island nation.