The cortege bearing the coffin of Queen Mother Halaevalu Mataʻaho began its journey back to Tonga this morning at 7.30am.
Members of the royalty including Princess Pilolevu and Princess Lātūfuipeka Mataʻaho got into cars at ʻAtalanga royal residence and followed the hearse carrying the Queen Mother’s body which was led by a police car.
The funeral cortege was expected to leave Whenuapai airfield for Tonga at 9.30am.
At the ʻAtalanga gate at St Andrews Street a man wearing tauangaʻa was standing there before the cortege entered the road and turned left heading to the Balmoral Road on its way to Whenuapai.
The Queen Mother died in Auckland on Sunday 19 and will be flown back to Tonga in an RNZAF Hercules.
She will then lie in state at the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa.
On Wednesday her body will be taken to the Royal Tombs Mala’ekula.
The royal family will observe ten nights of mourning following the burial.