Viliami Tungī Mailefihi

Prince Viliami Tungī Mailefihi

Prince Viliami and his wife Queen Salote
Prince Consort of Tonga
Tenure 5 April 1918 – 20 July 1941
7th Premier of Tonga
In office 30 June 1923 - 20 July 1941
Monarch Sālote Tupou III
Predecessor Hon. Tevita Tuʻivakano
Successor Hon. Solomone Ula Ata
Born (1887-11-01)1 November 1887
Died 20 July 1941(1941-07-20) (aged 53)
Burial Mala‘e Kula Royal Tombs
Spouse Sālote Tupou III
Issue Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV
Prince Uiliami Tuku‘aho
Prince Sione Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake
House Tu'i Ha'atakalaua
Father Hon. Siaosi Tukuʻaho, 3rd Premier of Tonga
Mother Hon. Mele Siuʻilikutapu
Religion Methodism

Viliami Tungī Mailefihi (1 November 1887 — 20 July 1941) was a Tongan high chieftain and Prince Consort of Queen Sālote Tupou III. He served as Prime Minister of Tonga from 1923 until his death in 1941.


The Royal Family of Tonga, Circa 1930. centre: Prince Tungī and Queen Sālote; left & front: their 3 sons Prince Taufa'ahau, Prince Sione and Prince Tuku'aho; right: The Queen's sister, Princess Fusipala

Prince Tungi was the son of The Honourable Siaosi Tukuʻaho (Lord Tungi of Tatakamotonga) who served as Prime Minister of Tonga from to 1890 to 1893. Tungī's grandfather was Tungī Halatuituia. The line of Tungī chiefs fromhailed from the exalted village of Tatakamotong. They were descended from the defunct line of Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua High Chiefs, who in that time were more or less seen as deputy rulers under the Tuʻi Tong Kingsa. As such they had a fiercely loyal following among the people of Muʻa if not from the whole Hahake district of Tongatapu Island. His mother, Lady Mele Siuʻilikutapu was the granddaughter of the Tuʻi Vavaʻu: Fīnau ʻUlukālala III (Tuapasi). As the nephew of the young and unmarried King Siaosi Tupou II, Tungi was the Heir-to-the-Throne, until the King's marriage and the birth of his first child, The Princess Sālote, in 1900. In 1911 Prince Tungi represented the Tongan King at the Coronation of King George V in London.[1]

Tungī was educated at Tupou College, Tonga and Newington College, Sydney, commencing in 1896, aged nine. He was one of seven Tongan nobles to attend Newington at the time.[2] He was a follower of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

He was selected by King Siaosi Tupou II to marry his oldest daughter and heiress presumptive, Princess Sālote. The King favoured this match even though she was 12.5 years younger than Tungi. The Christian wedding ceremony took place on 19 September 1917. The traditional Tongan matrimonial ceremony (known as the Tu'uvala) was celebrated on 21 September. In less than a year, King Siaosi Tupou II would die, and his daughter (The Princess Sālote) would be crowned as the regnant Queen of Tonga.

The opening years of Queen Salote's reign were fraught with political difficulties. There was a schism between the two branches of the Methodist Church; and a republican movement threatened to unseat the fledgling monarch. The personality and high status of Prince Tungi helped to elevate the esteem of the people toward their young queen.

One of the most eminent accomplishments (contributed by Queen Salote and Prince Tungi) was the births of their children. Between them, The Queen and her Consort carried the blood of all three ancient royal dynasties: the Tu'i Tonga, the Tu'i Ha'atakalaua and the Tu'i Kanokupolu. Sadly, their son (The Prince Tuku'aho) would pass away in 1936. However, the other two sons (The Prince Taufa'ahau and The Prince Sione) carried and passed on the combined bloodlines of the three ancient royal dynasties.

Prince Tungi served as his wife's Prime Minister from 1923 until his death in 1941. His own experience helped him to train The Queen in the vocation of kingship and government. His death in 1941 was a devastating blow to Queen Salote. Yet like England's Queen Victoria, she learned to serve her people in spite of her grief and loss.

Titles and honours


  1. "A PRINCE OF TONGA.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 29 March 1911. p. 4. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  2. "Crown Prince of Tonga.". Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907). NSW: National Library of Australia. 20 November 1897. p. 19. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  3. Royal Ark
  4. Royal Ark
  5. Royal Ark
Viliami Tungī Mailefihi
Born: 1 November 1887 Died: 20 July 1941
Preceded by
Tevita Tuʻivakano
Prime Minister of Tonga
Succeeded by
Solomone Ula Ata
Preceded by
ʻAnaseini Takipō
as queen consort
Prince consort of Tonga
Succeeded by
Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe
as queen consort
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