Tonga

Pocket Profile – Sālote Tupou III

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Sālote Tupou III was the first Queen regnant and third Monarch of the Kingdom of Tonga from 1918 to her death in 1965. She reigned for nearly 48 years, longer than any other Tongan Monarch. During her childhood, she was not a popular choice for queen-dom, due to the low rank of her mother. However, Salote showed everyone. She married well, was true to her own self, and eventually became a popular monarch.

Described as charming and endearing, she was also a tough lady, who brooked no foolishness. During Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, she famously rode through the streets on London, in the rain, eschewing the rain hoods that were placed on other carriages. She believed in the Tongan custom of not imitating the actions of the person she was honoring. She completely won over the crowds. After viewing this interview, who can resist her?

Before getting wet. One is regal and amused!

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Her personal style was an endearing combination of sass and sensible. She could wear the gold lame and the plain cotton blouse with equal aplomb.

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In 1953, Queen Elizabeth visited Tonga during her world coronation tour. I wonder if Queen Sālote had any words of advise for the new monarch? If so, I bet they were wise.

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The Queen was a writer, a lover of dance, and maintained a keen interest in archeology and Tongan history throughout her life. From unpopular child to beloved queen, she was much mourned at her death.