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The Queen of Tonga - larger-than-life or just kinda chubby?

Posted at 9:18 AM on October 26, 2012 by Alison Young

queen of tonga.jpgShe was larger than life - both figuratively and in reality - one paper said she was 6'4" and 280 pounds; another pegged her at just shy of six feet and a few stone less. But just looking at the picture of the Queen of Tonga next to Britain's newly crowned Queen Elizabeth and you get the picture.

The papers agree on one thing: when the two met, Queen Salote wore a skirt made of pounded bark and a coconut-husk belt - and her manner and warm grace won everyone's hearts, including England's monarch.

This morning, I'll finish our Dominick Argento birthday week with his humorous Haydn-esque "Homage to the Queen of Tonga" who was considered back in 1953 to be the most popular of ALL the coronation guests.