Image: George Tupou V
Torsten Blackwood  /  AP
Tonga's new monarch, King George Tupou V, on his throne in the royal palace during the Royal Honours Investiture Ceremony in Nuku'alofa on Thursday.
updated 7/31/2008 7:50:46 PM ET 2008-07-31T23:50:46

Tongan King George Tupou V, was crowned Friday in an elaborate Christian ceremony during which he was called on to rule "wisely, justly and truly."

He was anointed with oil and a large gold crown was placed on his head.

The coronation, which included singing by a choir of more than 300, was the first in Tonga since 1967 when King George V's father, the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, ascended to the throne.

King George V sat on a large golden throne in the capital's Centenary Church in front of 1,000 guests, as the Archbishop of Polynesia Jabez Bryce proclaimed he had been "anointed, blessed and consecrated" as king of the South Pacific nation's king. He then called on him to rule "wisely, justly and truly."

Thousands lined the route to the church, waving Tongan flags and balloons. As the king left the church, guests clapped and onlookers cheered.

The nearly weeklong festivities include banquets for visiting heads of state and their representatives, military parades, fireworks displays and elaborate ceremonies that mix colonial-style pomp with centuries-old tribal traditions.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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