George V crowned King of Tonga

Other News Materials 1 August 2008 07:57 (UTC +04:00)

Tonga's King George V was crowned Friday in a lavish ceremony in Nuku'alofa, capital of his South Pacific island state, dpa reported.

The king, 60, was crowned on a 2.5-metre-high golden throne before 1,000 guests at the Centenary Free Wesleyan Church as bells rang and a 21-gun salute was sounded, Radio New Zealand reported from Nuku'alofa.

King George succeeded his father who died in September 2006 after ruling for 41 years but his coronation was delayed because of pro-democracy riots two months later which left eight people dead and much of the capital's business centre looted and burned.

The king has already announced plans to remove the monarch's traditional supreme powers and give his 120,000 people more say in a democratic system of government.