King Tupou VI is the king of Tonga, a position he has held since 2012. Tupou VI has a net worth of $100 million. Prior to this, he served as the 13th prime minister of Tonga, and was then Tonga's High Commissioner to Australia. Tupou assumed the throne as the successor of his late brother King George Tupou V, who had no legitimate children to be heirs.
Tupou VI was born as 'Aho'eitu 'Unuaki'otonga Tuku'aho on July 12, 1959 in Nuku'alofa, Kingdom of Tonga. He is the youngest child and third son of King Tāufa'āhau Tupou IV and his wife Halaevalu Mata'aho 'Ahome'e. For his education, Tupou went to the Leys School in Cambridge, England from 1973 to 1977, and then attended the University of East Anglia from 1977 to 1980.
In 1982, Tupou joined the naval arm of the Tonga Defence Services. Five years later, he became a lieutenant commander; the year after that, he graduated from the US Naval War College. From 1990 to 1995, Tupou commanded the VOEA Pangai, a Pacific-class patrol boat. Among his activities, he oversaw peacekeeping efforts in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Following this, Tupou pursued graduate studies at the University of New South Wales, graduating with a master's degree in defense studies in 1997. He went on to earn another master's degree, this one in international relations, from Bond University in Australia in 1999.
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Tupou officially ended his military career in 1998 to join the Tongan government. He first served in simultaneous positions as defense minister and foreign minister, roles he held from late 1998 through August of 2004. These posts were previously held by his older brother Tupouto'a, who was at the time the crown prince. During this time, in January of 2000, Tupou was appointed as prime minister of Tonga. He served as prime minister until his abrupt resignation in February of 2006, which many have speculated was a response to pro-democracy protests calling for the diminishment of the royal family's presence in Tonga's government. Tupou subsequently appointed Feleti Sevele as the new prime minister; significantly, Sevele was the country's first prime minister who did not belong to any aristocratic Tongan families, and who did not hold any hereditary estates.
In 2008, Tupou was appointed as Tonga's inaugural High Commissioner to Australia. He served in this position through 2012, leaving office when his brother King George Tupou V passed away. Because his brother was a bachelor and did not bear any legitimate children, Tupou succeeded him as the new king of Tonga in March of 2012. Alongside Queen Nanasipau'u, he was crowned in 2015 in a ceremony at Centenary Church in Nuku'alofa. In the ceremony, Tupou was anointed with holy oil and presented with a ring and scepter; he then received the crown from Reverend D'Arcy Wood, a native Tongan and retired minister from the Uniting Church in Australia.
During his reign in January of 2022, Tupou had to be evacuated from the Royal Palace due to the eruption of the submarine volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai and the resulting tsunami. He was able to return to the Palace a couple days later.
In 1982, Tupou married Nanasipau'u Tuku'aho, his second cousin and the daughter of high chief Baron Vaea. Together, the couple has a daughter and two sons. Their daughter, born in 1983, is Princess Lātūfuipeka Tuku'aho, who began serving as the new High Commissioner to Australia in 2012. Meanwhile, the couple's sons are Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala, born in 1985, and Prince Ata, born in 1988. The former son is married to Sinaitakala Fakafanua, the daughter of late high chief Kinikinilau Fakafanua. The pair have four children: Prince Taufa'ahau Manumataongo, Princess Halaevalu Mata'aho, Princess Nanasipau'u, and Princess Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu.