King George Tupou V, the King of Tonga is reported to have died in Hong Kong overnight after a short illness; the Herald reports:
The King of Tonga has died in Hong Kong, sparking an outpouring of grief in the Pacific nation.
King George Tupou V, 63, went into an intensive care unit in a Hong Kong hospital about 10 days ago but his condition rapidly deteriorated and he died last night.
Last year, the King had a liver transplant and was given a clean bill of health.
The monocle-wearing King succeeded his father in 2006. To describe him as an eccentric would probably be putting it mildly. However he was loved by his people, and there is widespread mourning in Tonga this morning.
King George Tupou V appointed his brother Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, as Crown Prince and heir to the throne. Media reports say that his brother was at the King's bedside when he died.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Tonga and the late King's family. In the best traditions of the Monarchy, we offer the words which have not been uttered of the British Monarchy in our lifetime; the King is dead; long live the King.