Prince Harry and Meghan Markle add their own colour to royal tour of Tonga

'Oku 'i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tour of Tonga has been a colourful affair, with the royal couple’s own choice of colours winning them praise from the public.

They wore the colours of Tonga during their visit, with Meghan Markle in a red dress and Prince Harry in a light weight white suit.

When they visited Tupou College today Markle wore a sky blue shirt dress by Veronica Beard while Harry wore an ocean blue cloth, which is known in Tongan as moana colour,  the colour of the college.

This colour has a long cultural history since this was the colour chosen for the first college in Tonga and probably in the South Pacific, which is Tupou College.

The largest denomination in Tonga, the Free Wesleyan Church, which owns Tupou College, is associated with this colour.

While at the college they dedicated two forest reserves to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.

The royal couple were entertained by students from the college with a song about mosquitos that had them in stitches.

During other performances Princess Angelika, who welcomed them to the kingdom on Thursday, could be seen explaining what was happening.

The Princess accompanied the royals on a tour of the Fā’onelua Centre, where they visited an exhibition celebrating Tongan handicrafts and products.

In a speech at the centre, Princess Angelika describe the royal pair as an “inspiration”.

“Your visit today draws attention to the fundamentals of today’s youth, youth leadership, youth empowerment and addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges of our region,” she said.

“Your visits inspires and has been an inspiration for the youth of Tonga to be the best they can be.

“You are a beacon of hope to us all.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began today’s tour with a meeting with Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva and the cabinet

They were met with a colourful display by more than 50 civil servants wearing red and black shirts and traditional costumes.

During the last day of their tour, the royals also wore the chiefly flower garlands or kahoa kakala ‘eiki. Markle wore the Nusi Heilala while Harry wore the Pito’ingalau.

They also wore the most popular faka-Ha’apai or ornamental girdle around the waist known in Tongan as kiekie or ta’ovala. The word Tonga appeared on the kiekie.

Tongans on social media showed their appreciation for the visit, the way the couple appeared to the public and their choice of colours. They described it as fabulous and magnificent.

A Tongan dance composed by Late Queen Sālote Tupou III known as Nepituno or Neptune has been  performed repeatedly since the couple arrived in Tonga.

It was composed to be part of the royal welcoming entertainment for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip when they visited Tonga in 1953.

Some of the metaphors used in the song included ‘E Hina mo Sinilau ke Hake or Hina and Sinilau you are welcomed to our shore. Hina was the well-known mythical beautiful young Tongan woman and Sinilau was the mythical Tongan young attractive man.

Another metaphor in the song was taulua tavake oma or two kind of sea birds known as Tavake well known significantly for their really beautiful white colour.

Again, the Queen was referring poetically to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1953. However, when the song was performed and was danced for Prince Harry and Meaghen those who grew up when the Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Tonga, said on social media they remembered it with fondness.  They said it fitted the welcoming event for Harry and Meghan.

The royal couple were farewelled this afternoon by Princess Angelika. They flew to Sydney where they will attend the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games before flying to Wellington on Sunday for the last leg of their tour.

The main points

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wore the colours of Tonga during their visit this week.
  • Markle wore a red dress while Prince Harry wore a light weight white suit.
  • When they visited Tupou College today they wore ocean blue clothes, the colour of the college.

For more information 

Tonga gives woven mats to Duke and Duchess


  1. Fakahikihiki’i lahi ‘e he kāinga Tonga’ e ‘a’ahi fakatu’i ‘a e Taulua Tavakeoma ‘o Polata’ane’.

    Mei he lanu ‘a hono vala’, anga ‘ena fakafōtunga he taimi ne na me’a ai ki he kakai’ pea hōhoa mo napangapanga mālie ongo tamaiki’ mo hona kahoa kakala ‘eiki pehē ki hona kiekie faka-Ha’apai’.

    Ne toutou tā mo faiva’i foki ‘a e Nepituno ko ha hiva mo ha mā’ulu’ulu ne fatu ‘e Kuini Sālote ‘i hono tali ‘o Kuini ‘Ilisapesi II mo Pilinisi Filipe he’ena tū’uta ‘i Tonga ‘i he 1953. Ko e ongo kui ia ‘a Pilinisi Hale’.

    Ne langa’i manatu ‘a e faiva’ ni ki he tokolahi ne nau tupu hake he kuonga ko ia’ mo ‘ilo ki he ‘uhinga ‘o e Nepituno’.


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