In 2008, under great pressure from the people who had demonstrated and rioted for democratic reforms, the king had made the Parliament an elected body for the first time. Previously the majority of members of Parliament were appointed by the king. He also sold off his ownership in state property and gave up many of his day to day responsibilities in running the country.
In addition to the throng of local mourners, the king's funeral was attended by representatives of the British and Japanese royal families, and heads of government from around the Pacific. The services were a combination of Tongan rituals and traditions from the Free Wesleyan Church including hymns, bible readings, prayers and eulogies.
Related post: Fate Is The Hunter - regarding the 2006 death of Prince Tu'ipelehake and his wife Princess Kaimana of the Kingdom of Tonga along with their driver in a car crash in Menlo Park, California. Tu'ipelehake was nephew to King Tupou IV (so cousin of Tupou V). Importantly, he had also been the leader of the democracy movement in Tonga.