A speech by The Duke of Sussex at a Formal Banquet hosted by His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u

Published 25 October 2018

Coming to Tonga I feel very much as though I am coming to visit an extended family.  

Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests. Mālō e lelei.

My wife and I are incredibly honoured to be your guests at this very special occasion in such a magical setting.

Coming to Tonga I feel very much as though I am coming to visit an extended family.  

My grandparents have visited a number of times and Your Majesties have been frequent visitors to see my family over the years. We have a strong bond as members of the Commonwealth; we share so much history - and common values.  

Tongan soldiers served with our allies during the First and Second World Wars and later independently to offer support in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tongan hospitality is world renowned; your islands are stunningly beautiful offering tourists rugged coastlines, humpback whales and coral reefs.

Tonga's sporting prowess is legendary; you are formidable on the rugby pitch , and you were the first Pacific island nation to win a medal at the Olympics! Is there no end to your talents?

Tongan artists such as Uili Lousi are winning international awards and your magnificent artefacts were a highlight at the recent Oceania exhibition in London, which my wife enjoyed very much when she opened it.

For a small population you have a very large presence on the world stage - a product of your talent and drive. We are both so looking forward to meeting many of you tomorrow- learning more about your culture and development as a strong and independent country.  

We are excited to visit Tonga’s dedication to The Queen's Commonwealth canopy; and are thankful for this country’s wider commitment to the environment by safeguarding the oceans and tackling climate change.  

We are also pleased that our visit comes at a time when the British Government is reopening its High Commission here, which will lead to far more opportunities for collaboration between our two countries in the future.

We are deeply grateful to you all for welcoming Meghan and me to Tongatapu and to Your Majesties for making us feel at home here.  

I would like to end by reading a special message from my grandmother The Queen

Your Majesties, it gives me great pleasure that my grandson and his wife are visiting The Kingdom of Tonga. Our two families have enjoyed a deep and warm friendship over many years, and I hope that our close relationship continues with the next generation.

To this day, I remember with fondness Queen Salote's attendance at my own Coronation, while Prince Philip and I have cherished memories from our three wonderful visits to your country in 1953, 1970 and 1977.

In the months and years ahead, I wish Your Majesties and the people of Tonga every good fortune and happiness.

Mālō ‘aupito.

Related content

Press release 24 May 2023

The King and Queen visit Northern Ireland

Read more
Feature

The Royal Family and bees

Find out more about Royal links to beekeeping
Beekeepers at Buckingham Palace

A message from The King following the devastation caused by Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar and Bangladesh

We are enormously grateful to all those providing much-needed humanitarian assistance.

18 May 2023
News

The Big Help Out

08 May 2023
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh visit Guide Dogs UK

A Coronation message from His Majesty The King

We now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and Commonwealth.

08 May 2023
Feature

'An Unexpected Guest' - a poem to mark the Coronation

Read the Poet Laureate's poem 'An Unexpected Guest'
Guest arriving at Westminster Abbey
Press release 05 May 2023

Coronation Artists

Read more
News

Garden Parties 2023

03 May 2023
The King and The Queen Consort host the first Buckingham Palace Garden Party of 2023
News

Coronation Day

06 May 2023
The Royal Family on the balcony on Coronation day
News

The Anointing Screen

29 April 2023
The Coronation Anointing Screen

A Speech by His Majesty The King at the Presentation of new Standards and Colours at Buckingham Palace

It is the greatest possible privilege to be able to present a new Standard and Colours to you today in a unique Tri-Service event in preparation for our Coronation.

27 April 2023
Feature

100 Coronation Facts

As Their Majesties' Coronation draws closer, read on for 100 fun facts about The King, The Queen Consort and the history of Coronations.
The King and The Queen Consort
Feature

Coronations and the Royal Archives

Explore documents from the Royal Archives relating to this historic ceremony ...
Archive document showing procession