18 July 2012

Random Royal Appreciation: A Royal Wedding in Tonga

This year is turning out to have its fair share of royal weddings, isn't it? Last week, Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala of Tonga married Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana 'i Fanakavakilangi Fakafanua.
This one made headlines around the world due to the close family relation between the bride and the groom: they're second cousins. Tonga seems to be stuck between the old royal protocol which dictates arranged marriages and marrying within the noble circle to maintain the royal bloodline (and is creating at the same time an awfully small pool of eligible spouses) and the modern world, in which many people - even some in the royal family - look at something like this and say: "Yeeeeaaah...maybe you shouldn't marry your second cousin, dude."
As for the wedding ceremony itself, it looks much more like a standard wedding (well, a standard wedding on overload, perhaps). The bride wore a modest white dress with long train and veil, while the groom wore a morning suit. Thousands joined their celebration, including more than 2,000 people in the church.
All judgements aside, this is a royal wedding and there are always reasons to celebrate. It's been an eventful royal year in Tonga: King George Tupou V died in March and was succeeded by his younger brother. This wedding had initially been planned for May but was postponed due to mourning. It's also the first time a crown prince has married in Tonga for 65 years, and that's reason enough to declare a celebration and wish the couple the best - despite the headlines.

Photos: Getty Images/AFP/CBS