George Tupou VI succeeded to the throne on the death of his elder brother, the bachelor George Tupou V, in March 2012.
The new King was Tonga's High Commissioner (ambassador) to Australia from 2008, having served as prime minister in 2000-2006. He quit as prime minister in the face of violent pro-democracy protests in February 2006, and was succeeded by Tonga's first non-royal and non-aristocratic head of government, Feleti Sevele.
The late King George Tupou V ushered in parliamentary democracy in 2010, ending centuries of feudal dominance of government.
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