The Royal Burial Ground at Mala’ekula (Red Ground) on Mateialona Road is where the Kings and Queens of Tonga and their close relations are buried. It is situated on the Hala Tu’I (King’s Road), so named because it is the last road along which Tongan Kings will travel. The burial ground was established in 1893 when King Tupou I died, his tomb being prominent in the middle. Prior to this, the Tongan Royal Family was buried on Uiha island. Queen Sãlote is one of the monarchs buried here.
The cemetery is set in a large park, encircled by a fence. This area is not open except for royal funerals. Some of the tombs have statues on high plinths, the tradition being that the higher they are, the closer the deceased is to Heaven. King George Tupou I, his son King George Tupou II and his first wife, Queen Lavinia (1879-1902) all have statues on columns.
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