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Tonga crown prince marries cousin

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 01:13

The heir to the throne of Tonga marries his cousin in a union that divides the Pacific island's royal family. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) In an arranged marriage that has divided the royal family, the heir to the throne of Tonga, Prince Tupouto'a 'Ukukalala married Sinaitakala Fakafanua, on Thursday (July 12). The couple are second cousins and both the bride's parents are first cousins to the groom's father, the King Tupou VI. The wedding, seen as an attempt to protect the Pacific island's shrinking royal bloodline, still attracted crowds of supporters and well wishers in the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa. SOUNDBITE: LORD VAEA, PRINCE'S UNCLE SAYING (English): "A new beginning for the royal household. They are both in their 20s, 24, 25. We are looking at that to preserve that constitutional monarchy." But local media reported divisions amid the royal family themselves and pointed to noticeable absentees at the wedding including the King's sister and the Queen Mother, who are both opposed to the marriage because of the closeness of the couple. Despite the divisions, political uncertainty and a gloomy economic outlook, the tiny kingdom put on a royal party - paid for by the royal family who helped with the preparations. This is expected to be the first of a number of royal weddings as the new King looks to strengthen the royal family. Tonga, which comprises 170 islands, has a population of about 100,000 and lies about 2,120 kilometres (1,320 miles) northeast of New Zealand.

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Tonga crown prince marries cousin

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 01:13