Tonga's crown prince marries first cousin
Tonga's crown prince signed a marriage certificate with his first cousin to kick off celebrations in the Pacific island nation ahead of their wedding ceremony later this week.
The signing to bring together Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala and his bride Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana 'i Fanakavakilangi Fakafanua was followed by choral singing and traditional Lakalaka dancing in the Royal Palace grounds.
Dressed in colourful clothing, the royal family's celebration leading up to the wedding ceremony Thursday comes four months after a period of mourning that gripped the tiny nation in March, when King George Tupou V was laid to rest.
The crown prince, who like his bride is 25 years old, is the eldest son of King George Tupou VI and heir to the throne.
Marrying cousins is an accepted practice among Tongan nobility, seen as a way of keeping the royal bloodlines strong.
The wedding will be marked by a public holiday.