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Tongan King's mother passes away in Auckland

The Tongan King's mother Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho has passed away in an Auckland hospital.

1 NEWS understands the Queen Mother, 90, was brought to New Zealand with minor health issues.

Her granddaughter and namesake Princess Mata'aho has been with her. It's understood her son King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u are currently in Niua the northernmost group of islands in Tonga.

Some of the younger Tongan royals have posted the news on Facebook - one granddaughter writing “my heart is broken in pieces”.

Another Tongan man said on Twitter that “it's like the moon has gone disappearing from the face of the earth ... A very down to earth Queen.”

Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata'aho is the widow of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV who passed away in 2006. Her eldest son King George Tupou V died in 2012 only six years after his father.

The Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata'aho was the mother of two kings, George Tupou V and Tupou VI.

Born on 29 May 1926, Halaevalu Mata'aho 'Ahome'e was the daughter of Heuifanga Veikune and Noble 'Ahome'e Manuopangai.

Halaevalu Mata'aho married Siaosi Tāufa'āhau Tupoulahi, the eldest son of Queen Sāote Tupou III, in a grand royal double wedding in 1947.

The Coronation of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV and Queen Mata'aho (Queen consort) took place in July 1967 following the passing of Queen Sālote in 1965.

Queen Mata'aho was predeceased by her husband Tupou IV in 2006, and two of their four children.

She is survived by a son King Tupou VI and daughter Princess Sālote Mafile'o Pilolevu Tuita, 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

The Queen Mother is much loved in Tonga - last year there was a six day celebration to mark her 90th birthday.

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