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Lavish Tonga coronation robes revealed on stamps

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Lavish robes to be used in Friday's coronation of Tonga's King George Tupou V have been revealed in new postage stamps designed by a Wellington illustrator.

Tonga is spending T$5 million (NZ$3 million) on the coronation of the aging bachelor, including NZ$570,000, for tailored robes from Gieves & Hawkes at 1 Savile Row in London's Mayfair.

By tradition such robes are trimmed with ermine which comes from winter stoats and is used as a symbol of purity or virginity.

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