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19 hours ago, Kekoa Dettloff said:

With very little physical resources at my disposal, I primarily rely upon the internet for researching on international orders. While recently searching for any additional visual references towards the older Tongan orders, I was able to stumble upon this one King Tupou IV and supposedly a young Crown Prince 'Tupoutoʻa.

The upper star appears to be that of the order of King George Tupou I knight commander based off of the images depicting it above. The lower one however seems to be an exact match to the 'Order of the Cross' worn by his Great Grand Father during his reign as well as the cross of merit? hung by the center of his uniform in a very (for lack of better words) German style of wear.

The Getty picture is misdated. The picture dates from between 1970 and 1977. The then King received the GCVO in 1970 and was promoted to GCMG in 1977.

Not sure why the Cr Pr is wearing the 2nd class 7-pointed breast star of the Order of George I, rather than the 8-pointed 1st class breast star. He was prom to the GC at the time he was formally installed as Crown Prince in 1969. There are pictures of him in Pacific Islands Monthly at the time, where he appears wearing the sash and sash badge, the breast star and a chest medal. Unfortunately, the breast star in that picture is indistinct because he is in tropical uniform and the picture was somewhat overexposed so one has nothing to compare.

At the time of the Coronation in 1967, the Cr Pr wore the breast starts of three orders, and neck badges of two orders. In senior position, the breast star was 8-pointed. Somewhat akin to the first class of the Order of George Tupou I, but a little indistinct so I cannot be sure what it is. The second breast star was clearly the old version of the Order of the Crown of Tonga -  4-pointed (almost identical to the Prussian order of the same name). In third position the 2nd class, 7-pointed star of the Order of George Tupou I. As for the two neck badges, the first worn at the throat is the 5-pointed badge of the Order of George Tupou I. At the second button hole, the badge is a four armed, white enamelled Geneva cross, with a circular disc in the centre. This is identical to the one in the Getty picture, so I would surmise that the neck badge the Order of the Crown, rather than "Cross of Merit".

The second breast star in the Getty picture is almost certainly the Order of the Cross of Tonga, though the name of this order is not a 100% certainty.

I am, of late, quite dubious about the existence of a "Cross of Merit". I now suspect that this term has been mistakenly applied to what were junior classes of the Order of the Crown and Order of the Cross of Tonga. Like "Medal of Merit", the term may perhaps be a catch all from the American numismatic world, applied whenever anything unfamiliar cropped up but one didn't want to appear unknowing.

I append a copy of the 1967 Coronation picture which depicts the Crown prince wearing the three breast stars and two neck badges of the second class orders he then held.


And here, an image of the Pacific Island Monthly 1969, in which the Cr Pr is depicted wearing the GC of the Order of George Tupou I.

Tupou Vd.jpg

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I'm glad you clarified that, as I had hold of the wrong end of the stick!  I thouhgt it was the current Crown Prince, which would date it from a narrow window - 2012 to today - but the photo - colour and so on - looked very 1960s, as did the V. blinds.  Thanks for clearing that up.  So, this is the gent who scandalized Tongan society by marrying his cousin?

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Hello Gentlemen,

This is an Order of Georges the 1st Knight Commander (or 2nd Class) breast star.

It's 88 millimeters in diameter.

The pin is hallmarked : "STERLING" and "935"


Tonga Order of the Crown 2 nd class breast star Type 1.jpg

A better photo

Tonga Order of Georges the 1st 2nd Class breast star obverse.jpg

And because it's great to be able to compare, the 1st Class breast star of Order of Georges the First of Tonga.

Same hallmark on pin (no hook on side of reverse of breast star), but 1st Class breast star is 94 millimeters in diameter.



Tonga Order of Georges the 1st 1st Class breast star obverse.jpg

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The Order of Georges the First seems to still "exist" in its shape (sorry for my English)...., but has been re-named Order of the Royal Household (with a new yellow edged in what seems to be very pale blue stripe), by King Tupou V in 2008.

As King Tupou V passed away in 2012, I have no idea what his brother, the current King Tupou VI will again reform the Tongan Award system.



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King Tupou V during his short 6 years reign has instituted many new Awards.

Including the new Order of the Crown.

Despite being a 1st Class breast star, its diameter is only 80 millimeters. No maker marks of any kind on reverse.

Tonga Order of the Crown Grand Cross Set Type 2.jpg

Tonga Order of the Crown Grand Cross breast star Type 2.jpg

Edited by heusy68
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In 2009 King Tupou V felt like an urgent need for a military Order for the Kingdom of Tonga, so was created the Military Order of St Georges, in 5 classes + 1 medal.

The 3rd Class is a beautifull neck Order, made by WORTH, the company of Mr Philip Eagleton.

The cross is 54 millimeters, and 81 millimeters eight from bottom to the cross on top of the crown.

The crown is articulated by a hinge.

Marked by WORTH & "925" on reverse.

I know a few Awards have been made.



Tonga Order of St Georges 3rd Class neck badge obverse 2.jpg

Tonga Order of St Georges 3rd Class neck badge obverse 1.jpg

Tonga Order of St Georges 3rd Class neck badge reverse.jpg

Tonga Order of St Georges 3rd Class neck badge side.jpg

Tonga Order of St Georges 3rd Class neck badge case of issue.jpg

A Commander of the Royal Australian Navy, Peter Thompson was awarded the 4th Class of Military Order of St georges at Nukua'lofa on 21 November 2009


There is also Corporal John Alofi & Private Feiloaki Ngunguta from Tonga Armed Forces who were both awarded a 3rd Class of the Military Order of St Georges.

Any more information concerning these Awards would be much welcome.


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Thank you for your contributions of what you know on the topic James and Emanuelle, and sorry for the misunderstanding from the first my earlier post Peter.

While I am unable to exactly tell without a closer look at the wording along the edge of the badge, the crown certainly shares a close similarity to that of the Kingdom of Tonga. My best guess at this time would be either the Royal Tongan Diplomatic order, or Order of Oceania mentioned by the manufacturer Worth Geneva on the previous page of this forum.

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  • 3 months later...

Nice Image.

  • King Tupou V Coronation Medal 
  • King Tupou IV Silver Jubilee Medal  
  • TDS General Service Medal
  • TDS Long Service and Good Conduct Meda
  • Grand cross and collar: Order of Saloe Tupou III.
  • Grand cross and neck badge: Royal Household Order.

Was always curious as to the lack of the Order of Pouono in recent years. Would anyone know by chance the current status of that order?

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The Order of Pouono is currently inactive and/or obsolete.   George V discontinued it during 2008-10, if not before.   A forthcoming article in the Journal of the Orders & Medals Society of America details the king's revisions of the entire Tongan honors system through 2012 [when that king died].   No further alterations to the Tongan honors system have been reported.  

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Does anyone know if the abovementioned article was published, and if so are you able to provide a reference?

Tongan honours continue to be sporadically bestowed by His Majesty King Tupou VI, often to mark special occasions. Service medals for the military and police were presented, and at least four new Members of the Royal Order of the Crown appointed in June this year around the time of His Majesty's 60th birthday.

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The article, "The Men Behind the Medal(s): as Exemplified by King George Tupou V, Philip B. Eagleton and the 2007-2013 Revision of the Tongan Award System, Including a Description of Preexisting Honors and the Modified System" by EJ Fisher, was published in the July-August 2018 issue of JOMSA pages 4-19.  A follow-up article with additional images will be published in the November-December 2019 issue of JOMSA which will be mailed to the membership in late November.

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