27/03/2012 09:36 BST | Updated 27/03/2012 09:41 BST

King Of Tonga Dead, George Tupou V Laid To Rest In State Funeral (PICTURES)

The late King of Tonga has been laid to rest in an extravagant funeral ceremony.

1,000 pallbearers took turns to carry King George Tupou V’s coffin to the royal catacombs in the country’s capital, Nukuk’alofa.

Church bells were joined by a 21-gun salute and a military band led the procession, AFP reported.

The unmarried 63-year-old was a direct descendant of King Tupou I, who founded the Tongan dynasty in the 19th century.

Famously eccentric, King Tupou was known for his taste for pith helmets, penchant for sailing model boats in his swimming pool and sporting a monocle.

He died in Hong Kong last week from an undisclosed illness.