(AFP) – Jul 12, 2012
NUKU'ALOFA — Tonga's crown prince married his cousin at a ceremony Thursday attended by 2,500 people in the Pacific island nation's capital Nuku'alofa.
Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala, first in line to the Tongan throne, and his bride Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana 'i Fanakavakilangi Fakafanua married at the Centenary Church.
The couple waved to a cheering crowd as they left in an open-top car.
The wedding, marked by a public holiday, comes four months after a period of mourning that gripped the tiny nation in March, when King George Tupou V was laid to rest.
A reception at a marquee lit by fairy lights for some 4,000 people was held near the Victorian-era Royal Palace, where traditional dancing continued into the night.
A week-long programme of wedding-related events will conclude on Sunday with a royal luncheon in Nuku'alofa.
Marrying cousins is an accepted practice among Tongan nobility, seen as a way of keeping the royal bloodlines strong.
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