Politics

Crown prince of Tonga marries cousin (VIDEO)

tonga_royal_wedding.jpg

Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala, left, and Sinaitakala Fakafanua receive their marriage license at the Royal Palace in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, on July 10, 2012.

Credit:

AFP

Tonga’s crown prince today married his cousin in keeping with longheld traditions on the tiny island nation that preserve royal bloodlines.

In a ceremony for 2,500 people at Centenary Church in the capital, Nuku’alofa, Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala wed Sinaitakala Fakafanua.

‘Ulukalala, 27, is first in line to the throne while his bride is a lesser member of the royal family, Agence France-Presse reported.

The ceremony came 100 days – the official mourning period – after the funeral for King George Tupou V, and was marked by a public holiday.

It’s been 65 years since a royal wedding in Tonga, BBC said.

“It’s a new beginning for the royal household,” said Lord Vaea, the prince’s uncle.

However, the wedding was not without controversy.

More from GlobalPost: King of Tonga’s fashion sense remembered

The Queen mother, Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho, and Princess Pilolevu, the King’s sister, skipped the ceremony, according to Fairfax media.

Arranged royal weddings are also becoming difficult, Fairfax reported, because there are only eight women and six men of marrying age in the family.

Others have suggested it’s time to inject new life into the royal family, including Will Ilolahia, an influential member of the Tongan community living in New Zealand.

“In the Tongan society, we don’t have a word for cousins, cousins are actually brothers and sisters,” he said, according to The Telegraph.

The newspaper also reported genetic risks of two cousins reproducing are slight.

More from GlobalPost: King of Tonga dies in Hong Kong