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Number of the day: 1,000

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One thousand: The number of pallbearers who carried the coffin of Tongan King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, who was buried Tuesday in an elaborate ceremony in the Polynesian city of Nuku'alofa.

  • Up to 10,000 ordinary Tongans attended the funeral, alongside foreign dignitaries including New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito.
  • A 21-gun salute was fired in honor of the late king, whose reign of 170 coral and volcanic islands was one of the last surviving monarchies of the South Pacific.
  • Tupou IV ruled Tonga for 41 years, making him one of the longest-serving royal leaders of modern times.
  • During his rule, he entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world's heaviest monarch, weighing 209.5 kg, but later spearheaded a campaign to cut obesity among his subjects, considerably reducing his own bulk.

  • Pallbearers dressed in grass mats carry the coffin of Tonga's late king Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.




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