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Tonga's Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala weds cousin

Tonga's Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala, left, and bride Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana 'i Fanakavakilangi Fakafanua, center, leave the Centenary Church after a wedding ceremony in Nuku'alofa on July 12, 2012. Getty

(CBS News) Tonga's Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala married his cousin in the Pacific island nation's capital on Thursday.

According to reports, the Tongan prince and his bride, Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana 'i Fanakavakilangi Fakafanua wed at the Centenary Church in Nuku'alofa.

Pictures: Royal wedding in Tonga

The wedding was marked by a public holiday, AFP reports. The newlyweds reportedly waved to the cheering crowd as they left in an open-top car, and a reception was held later that night for some 4,000 guests near the royal palace.

A week-long series of wedding-related events will conclude Sunday with a royal luncheon in the capital, AFP added. The wedding came four months after the death of King George Tupou V in March.

Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala, 27, is first in line to the Tongan throne, the Telegraph reports, while his wife, 25, is 26th in line. (The Telegraph refers to Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana 'i Fanakavakilangi Fakafanua as the prince's second cousin, while other reports simply refer to the couple as cousins.)

The BBC notes that marriage between cousins is seen as a way of keeping the royal bloodline strong in Tonga.