Sālote Lupepauʻu

Sālote Lupepauʻu (c.1811 – 8 September 1889)[1] was the Queen consort of Tonga from 1845 to 1889. She was the wife of George Tupou I and namesake of the Queen Salote College.

Sālote Lupepauʻu
Queen Sālote in 1874, portrait taken by Frederick Hodgeson, official photographer of the Challenger expedition
Queen consort of Tonga
Tenure4 December 1845 – 8 September 1889
Died8 September 1889 (aged 7778)
Royal Palace, Nukuʻalofa, Tonga
George Tupou I
Vuna Takitakimālohi
HouseHouse of Tupou
FatherTamatauʻhala, Makamālohi
MotherHalaʻevalu Moheʻofo


Born around 1811, Lupepauʻu was the daughter of Tamatauʻhala, Makamālohi and Halaʻevalu Moheʻofo. Her father was the son of the daughter of the Tuʻi Tonga Fefine and her mother was the daughter of Fīnau ʻUlukālala II ʻi Feletoa.[2] Lupepauʻu was considered to be of high sino'i 'eiki rank in the traditional order.[3] From an early age, she was married to Laufilitonga, the last holder of the title Tuʻi Tonga.[2] Sometime after Laufilitonga's defeat at Battle of Velata against the forces of Tāufaʻāhau (the future George Tupou I), Tāufaʻāhau eloped with Lupepauʻu. After his conversion to Christianity, Tāufaʻāhau repudiated all his secondary consorts and their children and made Lupepauʻu his principal wife.[3][4] After their conversion, Tāufaʻāhau took the name George Tupou I in honor of King George III of the United Kingdom while Lupepauʻu was named Sālote or Charlotte after Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom.[5]

With George Tupou I, she had two sons: Tuʻuakitau (1839–1842) and Vuna Takitakimālohi (1844–1862). Their children were the only heirs of Tupou I considered legitimate and eligible to succeed to the Tonga throne under Christian law and the childless death of Vuna in 1862 left the question of succession in question The succession would remain vacant for thirteen years until the promulgation of Tonga's first constitution in 1875, which legitimized Tupou's illegitimate son Tēvita ʻUnga and named him Crown Prince.[6]

Lupepauʻu died on 8 September 1889. In 1914, the Kolisi Fefine was renamed Queen Salote College in her honor.[2] The name Sālote would become a recurring tradition in the Tongan royal family. Her husband's great-great granddaughter Sālote Tupou III, however, was named after her great-grandmother Sālote Mafile‘o Pilolevu.[7]


  1. Royal Ark
  2. Wood-Ellem 1999, p. 312.
  3. Marcus 1978, p. 39.
  4. Ledyard 1982, p. 54.
  5. Wood-Ellem 1999, p. 318.
  6. Spurway 2015, p. 155.
  7. Wood-Ellem 1999, pp. 8, 19.


  • Ledyard, Patricia (1982). The Tongan Past. Vava'u, Tonga: Distributed by Matheson. OCLC 13112650.
  • Marcus, George E. (1978). "The Nobility and the Chiefly Tradition in the Modern Kingdom of Tonga". The Journal of the Polynesian Society. Wellington: The Polynesian Society. 42. OCLC 240852997.
  • Spurway, John (2015). Ma'afu, Prince of Tonga, Chief of Fiji: A Life of Fiji's First Tui Lau. Canberra: Australian National University Press. ISBN 978-1-925021-18-9. OCLC 879538614.
  • Wood-Ellem, Elizabeth (1999). Queen Sālote of Tonga: The Story of an Era 1900–1965. Auckland, N.Z: Auckland University Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2529-4. OCLC 262293605.
New Creation Queen consort of Tonga
Succeeded by
Lavinia Veiongo
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