Prime Minister's body lies in state. [Inset: Princess Angelika Tuku'aho]

Princess Angelika is the fahu for Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva.

The fahu is the person who sits in front near the coffin and shows she or he is the highest in social status to the deceased.

The fahu to the deceased must come from the dead person’s paternal side and is usually a sister of their father and her children.

Traditionally it was the highest honour at a funeral when the fahu came from the eldest sister of their father.

It is a significant honour that Princess Angelika is performing this role because she is the only daughter of the king.

Hon. Pōhiva’s great grandfather Fīnau Filimoe’ulie was a half brother of King George Tupou I.

The king’s mother Taufa Hoamofaleono, became pregnant to another chief, Nuku Moimoiangaha, from whom the current Lord Nuku is descended.

Their child was Filimoe’ulie.

Filimoeʻulie grew up in Pōhiva’s village of Fakakakai, but later returned to Vainī in Tongatapu, his motherʻs village, to be appointed as Lord Maʻafu.

A Lord Ma’afu noble had a daughter Tuputupu Vaea, the mother of Queen Nanasipau’u.

This means Pōhiva, Queen Nanasipau’u, Lord Vaea, the current Lord Ma’afu of Vaini and Lord Nuku of Kolonga were cousins.


Many Tongans were unaware of Hon. Pōhiva’s royal connections until after he died. During his more than 30 years as a politician he did not boast about his connections.

This is something that Tongans who have any type of links to nobility and royal family often do to boost their social status.

People said that the late Prime Minister’s reticence about his royal connections showed how humble and meek he was.

Hon. Pōhiva maintained throughout his political life that all he did was to protect the royal family from opportunists.


The State funeral service for the late Prime Minister will be held at the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Centenary Church (Saione).

Hon. Pōhiva will be buried at the Telekava Cemetery at Kolomotu’a.

Thursday has been declared a public holiday and a national day of mourning.

Hon. Pōhiva’s body was flown back to Tonga yesterday by the RNZAF and then lay in state in the St George building where a congregational prayer service and public viewing was held.

Some extremist factions among royalist supporters have complained about the late Prime Minister’s funeral arrangements.

Pohiva’s critics have complained and did not want to mention Hon. Pōhiva’s royal connections.

They also said that a state funeral should only be held if one of the royal family died.

For more information

Tonga treatment saved thousands; PM thanks Princess Mata’aho for visit

“Solemn and dignified” welcome for Pōhiva as Prime Minister comes home for last time

Still no statement from palace as kingdom prepares to bury Prime Minister Pōhiva, a poor commoner with royal connections


  1. RIP ‘Akilisi Pohiva…Maloo ki he ngaaue lelei kotoa kuo lava mei mu’aa. Folau aaa pe a ke toka ‘i he nonga ‘a e ‘eikii.

    ‘Oku si’i tanu ‘ifee e me’a fk’eiki?


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