Can't help but recall an oft-told tale about my grandfather meeting the King of Tonga as part of research for his book (now out of print) about island nations.
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Tonga's king vows more democracy Tonga's king has appealed for calm and promised a more democratic government in a speech following last week's riots in which at least six people died. King Tupou V was speaking at the close of Tonga's parliament on Thursday.
His comments came as around 200 Chinese nationals were flown out of the country on a plane chartered by Beijing.
Many Chinese businesses were looted during pro-democracy rioting which saw up to 80% of the capital's commercial district destroyed.
The (much abridged) story, as I remember it:
Joe Murphy requested an invitation to have an audience with the King of Tonga. The King's handlers agreed to set up the meeting, with the condition that my grandfather wore a sport coat and tie. They assured him that he could borrow one, as he didn't think to bring his own, Tonga being an island in the tropics and all. The tie was wearable without incident, but the sports coat was for a man 5'6“; my grandfather is closer to 6'2”. The sleeves of the coat came barely to his elbows, yet the King of Tonga (a very large and jovial cat, apparently), thought the sight hysterical, and couldn't stop laughing. The meeting proceeded.