King Tupou VI of Tonga

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Happy Birthday to King Tupou VI of Tonga, who turns 60 today! The third son and youngest child of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV and Queen Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe of Tonga, he was raised in Tonga and educated at The Leys School, Cambridge and the University of East Anglia, before joining the naval arm of the Tonga Defence Services in 1982 and becoming a Lieutenant-Commander in 1987. He also studied at the US Naval War College, the University of New South Wales, and Bond University, before becoming the Defence Minister, Foreign Minister, and later Prime Minister of Tonga until 2006, when he resigned after a series of pro-democracy protests. Prince ʻAhoʻeitu was also Tonga’s first High Commissioner to Australia and the Tongan Ambassador to Japan until 2012, when he succeeded his older brother, King George Tupou V, to the Throne of the last surviving Pacific Kingdom, being crowned in 2015. In 1982, he married his second cousin, the Hon. Nanasipauʻu Vaea. The couple have three children, Princess Latufuipeka, Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala, and Prince Ata. The King met quite a few Foreign Royals at the Cremation of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and most prominently welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Tonga last year, as well as Crown Prince Haakon of Norway this year.

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