Head of State - His Majesty King Tupou VI


THE KING - His Majesty King Tupou VI

Role of the King

The King has two roles as:

1.       Head of State of the Kingdom of Tonga
2.       Hau ‘o e Fonua - the Supreme Head of the traditional kingship of the Kingdom of Tonga

The Constitution of Tonga acknowledges that these two roles of the Monarch are combined within the dignity and body of the one person.

The form of Government for the Kingdom is a Constitutional Monarchy under His Majesty and successors, as provided under the Constitution.

Head of State -

The Monarch as Head of State may exercise key constitutional functions in accordance with the Constitution, by himself or in Privy Council, including:

By the King alone -

All of these powers, and indeed all other powers where His Majesty is acting as Head of State, are exercised within the Constitution, statute law, common law and constitutional conventions.

Traditional Role - Hau ‘o e Fonua

The King's traditional role of Hau ‘o e Fonua (the second role referred to in paragraph 11 above) has always been in existence, is fundamental to Tongan society and is expressed in a wide variety of ways. One way is in the Constitution which His Majesty King George Tupou I granted in 1875 to the Nobles and People of Tonga. The Constitution protects the Monarchy and its relationship with the Nobility and People by many methods, including the following:

where an estate has reverted to the Monarchy (cl 112); and


The Privy Council consist of advisors appointed by His Majesty from time to time to advise him on matters general or particular, as His Majesty decides.

In addition, the Constitution establishes as a Committee of the Privy Council, the Judicial Appointments and Discipline Panel, comprising a fixed membership, including the Law Lords appointed from time to time, whose purpose is to advise upon His Majesty's Judicial related functions (cl 83C).

Matters that must be decided by The King in Privy Council under the Constitution are also listed above and include -

In addition, other Acts provide powers and functions for His Majesty, alone or in Privy Council, especially relating to foreign affairs, formal matters and

some emergency powers.

The Constitution now provides in clause 50A(3) that -

The Prime Minister shall regularly and as required report to the King  upon matters that have arisen with the government and upon the state of the country.

The Cabinet will be advised in due course, and from time to time, of the administrative arrangements for the Privy Council


Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications, 2015