Salote Tupou III of Tonga

Salote Tupou III of Tonga

Infobox_Monarch | name =Sālote Tupou III
title =Queen of Tonga

imagesize = 150px
caption =Queen Salote in London at the Coronation of Elizabeth II
reign =5 April 1918-16 December 1965
coronation =
predecessor =Siaosi Tupou II
successor =Tāufa‘āhau Tupou IV
heir =
consort =Viliami Tungī Mailefihi
issue =Siaosi Tāuf‘āhau Tupoulahi
Uiliami Tuku‘aho
Sione Ngū Manumataongo
royal house =Tupou
royal anthem =Ko e fasi ‘o e tu‘i ‘o e ‘Otu Tonga
father =Siaosi Tupou II
mother =Lavinia Veiongo
date of birth =birth date|1900|3|13|df=y
place of birth =Tonga
date of death =death date and age|1965|12|16|1900|3|13|df=y
place of death =Auckland, New Zealand
place of burial=Mala‘e Kula|

Sālote Mafile‘o Pilolevu Tupou III, Queen of Tonga, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DStJ (13 March 1900–16 December 1965), but usually named only: Sālote, was queen of Tonga from 5 April 1918 to her death in 1965. She was the daughter of king George Tupou II and his first wife, queen Lavinia Veiongo. Married to Viliami Tungī Mailefihi and the mother of Siaosi Tāufa‘āhau Tupoulahi - later king Tāufa‘āhau Tupou IV - , Uiliami Tuku‘aho (5 November 1919–28 April 1936), and Sione Ngū Manumataongo - later Tu‘i Pelehake (Fatafehi) -, plus 3 miscarriages.

From a traditional point of view she was also (the 21st) Tu‘i Kanokupolu and as such only grudgingly accepted by followers of the Tu‘i Tonga, that is the people of Mu‘a. The first years of her reign she spent a lot of effort in reducing their suspicions. Her marriage to Tungī Mailefihi had been a masterstroke of her father, as Tungī was a direct descendant of the Tu‘i Ha‘atakalaua, which at that time was seen as belonging to the Tu‘i Tonga's "kauhala‘uta". Their children therefore combined the blood of the three grand royal dynasties in Tonga.

In 1920-1921, she assisted the Bernice P. Bishop Museum's Bayard-Dominick expedition with their mapping of Tongan archaeological sites by providing access to localities and information. The expedition's reports on the Tongan past - including a large volume of material which still remains unpublished even today - which were primarily compiled by Edward Winslow Gifford provided the groundwork for comprehensive studies of the pre-contact history of the Tongans (Burley 1998).

She brought Tonga to international attention when she attended the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London, endearing herself to the British people by riding through the streets in an open carriage, smiling and waving, in the pouring rain. She was a keen writer and author of countless dance songs and love poems ("hiva kakala") as well as majestic "lakalaka". She served as Chairman of the Tonga Traditions Committee 1954–1965, patronised the Tonga Red Cross Society, was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1932, advanced to Dame Grand Cross (GBE) in 1945, appointed a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 1953 and was the first Dame Grand Cross to be appointed to the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) in January 1965. She died 16 December 1965 at Aotea Hospital, Auckland, after a long illness.


* Queen Salote was known for being a tall woman. "Time" magazine [,9171,858406,00.html] states that she was 1.91 meters or 6 foot 3 inches.
* When she made her appearance at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, a friend of Noël Coward asked: "Who's that little man in the carriage with her?" Coward is alleged to have replied: "Her lunch."


*, (1967), "The Friendly Islanders: a story of Queen Salote and her people," London; Hodder & Stoughton.
* (1998): Tongan Archaeology and the Tongan Past, 2850-150 B.P. "Journal of World Prehistory" 12(3): 337-392. doi|10.1023/A:1022322303769 (HTML abstract)
* (2004): "Songs and poems of Queen Salote". ISBN 978-982-213-008-9
* (1954), "Queen Salote & Her Kingdom", London:Putnam.
* (1999), "Queen Salote of Tonga: The Story of an Era 1900-1965", Aukland:Auckland University Press, ISBN 978-186-940-205-1

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