A number of furious Tongan royalists on social media branded an article published by a UK news website about the King of Tonga as “absolutely rubbish and borrowed material” and labelled a well-known UK writer as “a rude person”.
In the article this week, “Duke of Gloucester takes tea with the King of Tonga”, it says “King Tupou VI of Tonga attended the unveiling of a plaque in memory of his older brother King George Tupou V, who died of leukaemia last year, in Cleveland Square, Bayswater”.
The reporter grabbed the opportunity to jokingly reminisce on the past and how the Tongan royals connected with the British Royals but it received an outrage from the Tongan community.
King Tupou VI's grandmother Queen Salote Tupou III (1900 – 1965) attended the Queen of Britain’s coronation in 1953.
It was raining during a long procession by leaders from various countries of the world who attended the royal event to show their respect for the British Queen.
The smiling Queen Salote won the hearts and acclaim of the waiting crowds as she refused to raise the roof of her carriage for protection from the rain.
There was a person sitting in front of Queen Salote’s carriage and Princess Marina supposed to ask Noel Coward, a well-known British writer, who is that little man.
Coward is said to have peered through the rain and said "Oh, her lunch, my dear."
This was quoted by the London Evening Standard’s website this week in its article for the King Tupou VI saying, “When asked who was the man in the carriage with her, Noël Coward is said to have replied: “Her lunch.”
A Tongan Falamoe Fau'ese Weber who lives in Leonberg, Germany found it offensive and wrote on Facebook .
“The so often told "lunch that sat beside Queen Salote during the Coronation in 1953" is not at all my type of humour!!” Weber said.
In a later interview with Walter Harris, Coward revealed it had been said by someone at White's Club and was immediately attributed to Coward.
"It was very flattering of course, except that I had intended to visit Tonga the following winter, and after that of course it was quite impossible," Coward was quoted by another website.
The London Standard Evening’s article however concludes by saying:
“How times change. There were no politically incorrect jokes yesterday, and no lunch. Just a Devonshire cream tea, with sandwiches and cakes”.
Another Tongan, Senolita Swan who lives in Britain was outraged and immediately registered a comment on the website yesterday saying:
“As a Tongan, I find it sad to see your writer(s) write absolutely nothing – you have not got anything what-so-ever to write about the King of Tonga unveiling the plaque in Bayswater.
“It occurs to me that you didn't even know anything about his visit. So you resolved to write absolutely rubbish and borrowed material from even more guttering shallow writing of the past – by snobbish writers.
“Get over yourselves – oh there are lots of evening classes where one could go and learn how to write basic story lines – perhaps you should all go back and learn how to write a story.
"By the way – Noel Coward was a rude person who thought he was larger than life – what he said was not a joke, nor anything to do with political correctness – it was a bloody insult to foreign leaders who travelled to this country to the coronation.
We have never found Noel Coward joke funny and we didn't laugh then, we are not laughing now. Her Majesty Queen Salote III was most love by her people – this is not about political correctness, it is about respect – something your world is rather lack of……Malo"
‘Olivia Ve’etutu also wrote on Facebook, “One writer in a millions who sees crap all the time about other Royals who are respected and adored by their Monarch! We can understand they'll never have a chance to even take an interview with their own Royals”