Queen of Tonga Salote Tupou III
- Category : 1900-births
- Type : ME
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Informing 1
Tongan royalty, reigning as the first Queen regnant and third Monarch of the Kingdom of Tonga from 1918 to her death in 1965. She reigned for nearly 48 years, longer than any other Tongan Monarch. She was a keen writer and author of dance songs and love poems. She was well known for her height, standing 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) tall in her prime.
Sālote (Charlotte) was the eldest daughter and heir of King George Tupou II of Tonga and his first wife, Queen Lavinia Veiongo. She was not popular, as she was perceived as being born from the 'wrong mother' because of her mother's low rank and was disliked so much that it was not safe for her to go outside the palace garden.
Her mother, Queen Lavinia died from tuberculosis on 25 April 1902. After her death, the Chiefs in Tonga urged King George Tupou II for many years to remarry to produce a male heir. On 11 November 1909, when the King finally married the 16-year-old ʻAnaseini Takipō, (half-sister of the rejected candidate 'Ofakivava'u', from the first search of a wife for the King), the chiefs were jubilant. Queen Anaseni gave birth twice, both girls: HRH The Princess ʻOnelua (born 20 March 1911; died of convulsions aged six months, on 19 August 1911) and HRH The Princess ʻElisiva Fusipala Taukiʻonetuku (born 26 July 1912; died from tubercular peritonitis on 21 April 1933 aged 20).
Married to Viliami Tungī Mailefihi, an adult noble then 28 years old (12 years her senior) in 1916 at the young age of 16, she became the mother of Siaosi Tāufa‘āhau Tupoulahi – later King Tāufa‘āhau Tupou IV –, Uiliami Tuku‘aho (5 November 1920 – 28 April 1936), and Sione Ngū Manumataongo – later Tu‘i Pelehake (Fatafehi) –, plus three miscarriages. Their children combined the blood of the three grand royal dynasties in Tonga.
She brought Tonga to international attention when, during her sole visit to Europe, she attended the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London. During the coronation procession, it began to rain and hoods were placed on the carriages in the procession. As Tongan custom dictates that one should not imitate the actions of persons one is honouring, she refused a hood and rode through the pouring rain in an open carriage, endearing herself to spectators. She served as Chairman of the Tonga Traditions Committee 1954–1965 and patronised the Tonga Red Cross Society.
Queen Salote died on 16 December 1965, aged 65, at Auckland City Hospital, after a long illness.