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RNZAF aircraft to fly home funeral cortege of Tonga’s late Queen Mother

The Royal New Zealand Air Force will use a C130 Hercules aircraft to bring the funeral cortege of the late Queen Mother – Halaevalu Mata’aho back to Tonga.

The aircraft is expected to arrive around 1pm (local time) on Tuesday, February 28 at Fua’amotu International Airport.

Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolelvu Tuita and members of the royal family and others are expected to accompany the casket on the Hercules aircraft from Whenuapai airfield.

The late Queen Mother will be taken to the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa for the Takipoo on Tuesday night for people to pay their respect and will be interred at the Royal Tombs Mala’ekula, on Wednesday, March 1st .

Radio Tonga reports people of various clans and villages including the Fala ‘o Ata in Kolovai have begun their observance of the mourning period to show their respect.

Town Officer of Kolovai – Luisi Fifita said, they had put up a temporary ban for concerts and happy festive events as part of their mourning observance.

Women are gathering at the Fatufatu Fala ‘i Fale Lalava Hall to prepare their traditional obligations to the Royal Family.

Tonga’s Consul in Auckland New Zealand – Sitaafooti ‘Aho said, many Tongans gathered at the Lesieli Tonga – Auditorium, Tuingapapai for a prayer service for her late Majesty.

Her body is currently laying in state at the Royal Residence in ‘Atalanga.

The consul said Tongans are mourning the death of the Queen Mother because they remember all her charity work for the elderly, less fortunate and people living with disabilities and she was one of a kind.

HRH Princess Pilolevu Tuita, Princess Latufuipeka, Princess Siu’ilikutapu, Princess ‘Ofeina ‘e he Langi, and members of the royal family are accompanying Her Majesty in ‘Atalanga

Tonga’s Consul said he was informed that a member from the King Moari’s family will come to the funeral possession.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Palace Office said, they are carrying out work at the Royal Tombs – Mala’e Kula in preparation for next week.

The cleaning up of the Royal palace and royal residences are continuing together with churches and businesses in preparation for the arrival of the Her Majesty’s body.

Tongans are putting up drapes of mourning colors to show their respect to Her late Majesty who died in Auckland on Sunday, February 19, aged 90..

Photo file: RNZAF C130 Hercules aircraft
Source: Radio Tonga
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