Fatafehi Tuʻipelehake

Prince Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake
Prince of Tonga
10th Premier of Tonga
In office 16 December 1965 - 22 August 1991
Monarch Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV
Predecessor Crown Prince Tāufaʻāhau
Successor Hon. Baron Siaosi Vaea
Born (1922-01-07)7 January 1922
Royal Palace, Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Died 10 April 1999(1999-04-10) (aged 77)
Burial Mala‘e Kula
Spouse Melenaite Tupoumoheofo Veikune
Issue Princess Mele Siu`ilikutapu
Princess 'Elisiva Fusipala Vaha'i
Prince `Uluvalu Takeivulangi
Princess Lavinia Mata
Princess Sinaitakala
Prince Viliami Tupoulahi Mailefihi
House Tupou
Father Hon. Viliami Tungī Mailefihi
Mother Sālote Tupou III
Religion Methodism

Sione Ngū Manumataongo Tukuʻaho (7 January 1922 – 10 April 1999), also known as The Prince Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake,[1] was the youngest son of HM The Queen Sālote Tupou III and was educated in Tonga and Australia. Tu'ipelehake is a traditional very high-ranking Tongan title.


Tu'i Pelehake attended Newington College, Sydney, (1941–1942)[2] and Gatton Agricultural College, Queensland, Australia. Fatafehi married Melenaite Tupoumoheofo Veikune (13 November 1924 — 16 March 1993) on the same day as his older brother, the Crown Prince (in that time still called Tupoutoʻa-Tungī) married Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe. That was the famous double royal wedding (taʻane māhanga) of 10 June 1947. He received the title Tuʻi Pelehake (Fatafehi) from his mother (Queen Salote) in 1944, and he also received the runner up highest title of Tonga of Tuʻi Faleua (king of the second house).

From a non-traditional side, he was conferred an honorary CBE. He inherited from his mother an artistic side; he was a well-known poet and composer.

His career was with his brother in the government. His first assignment was as governor of Vavaʻu (1949–1952), later of Haʻapai (1952–1953), next he held various ministerial portfolios in cabinet, until he took over as Prime Minister of Tonga when his brother had to vacate the post on becoming king in 1965. He remained in this post until he had to withdraw in 1991 because of serious health problems.[1] His last years were spent in a wheelchair on a life support system.

He kept the both titles of Tuʻi Pelehake and Tuʻi Faleua for so many years, that they became synonymous with him. But after his death, only the former was conferred to his son, while the latter returned to the king.


Besides his son who inherited his positions, he also had four daughters and two sons :


National honours

Foreign honours


  1. 1 2 "The Hon Baron Vaea of Houma biography". Archived from the original on 2004-11-11. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  2. Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp201
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Royal Ark, Tongan genealogy details - Page 10
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