Security risk cuts Fiji trip short
A SECURITY scare forced the Duchess of Sussex to cut short a visit to a local market, with Meghan’s security detail rushing her out of the packed building.
She was visiting the Suva Municipal Market to do a walk-around, which was swamped by massive crowds hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
But the Duchess spent just six minutes of her scheduled 20 minutes at the market, and only managed to meet a handful of people before she was whisked away.
Pictures showed members of the security team and local authorities looking flustered as they quickly guided Meghan out.
After chatting with one vendor, she was whisked through the market by a Fijian security official and her female head of protection, as throngs of people arrived to greet her in a location that was enclosed and relatively dark.
The Duchess gave an apologetic wave to her fans as she was escorted out, brushing her fringe out of her face. The decision reportedly came directly from Kensington Palace.
Thousands of Fijians were on the streets all day, with many reportedly climbing onto roofs of buildings for a better view.
The crowds did not appear to be getting out-of-control though.
One especially heartwarming video showed a large group of local people so excited for her arrival that they started singing together.
Local people were eagerly waiting for the Duchess of Sussex at the Suva Market. They were so excited for her arrival that they got together as a group started singing.#RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/W3u91ZxCKN
— ukinfiji 🇬🇧🇫🇯 (@ukinfiji) October 24, 2018
The volume of excited fans would have only added to the heat and humidity in Fiji, which may have formed part of the decision.
Vendors were selling watermelons, pineapples and other fruit at the market, as well as handicrafts and fans.
The market visit was the final item on Meghan’s agenda, giving her and Prince Harry a rare afternoon off.
Meghan’s visit to the market in Suva has been cut short due to a ‘security risk’ – KP blaming massive crowds.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 23, 2018
Meghan was really rushed through #Suva market and spent less than ten minutes there. The palace said she did meet the women she was meant to, but there were lots of disappointed Fijian’s who said it was too fast and the security too tight pic.twitter.com/Bqmd9mkgbm
— Rhiannon Mills (@SkyRhiannon) October 24, 2018
HARRY’S SWEET MOMENT WITH LOCAL WOMAN
Prince Harry had a sweet exchange with a Fijian woman who served tea to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, more than 60 years ago.
Litiana Vulaca, 86, was lucky enough to greet the Duke as he unveiled a dedication of the Colo-i-Suva forest.
The great-grandmother had been impatiently waiting to meet the Duke ever since it was announced he was going to visit the island.
According to The Fiji Times, she was approached to serve tea to the Queen while working for Adi Cakobau School principal Frances Lillian Charlton in 1949.
“I couldn’t believe my ears when Mrs Charlton told me and was a bit afraid at first,” she said. “Being only 21, I thought I was too young for such an important job so I asked if one of the teachers could do it instead.”
Over the next two weeks, she was given specific training on royal etiquette, ranging from posture to eye contact to the proper way to stand while serving the Queen’s tea.
She said being chosen to meet Prince Harry on this trip was an honour.
“I won’t be standing because of my knees so I’ve asked to be seated on a chair when I meet Prince Harry,” she said.
“I plan to hold a photo of Mrs Charlton and the Queen taken a few moments after I served her tea. I hope to tell him about my rare and brief encounter with the Queen when she first came to Fiji.
“I am just an ordinary woman from Naitasiri but to be chosen to meet royals is a gift and I thank God for that opportunity. “It is an honour — I will take to the grave and always share with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the rest of my life.”
ROYAL FAN GOES IN FOR CHEEKY GRAB
No matter how excited adults get when they see the royal couple, they usually try to keep their emotions in check.
But kids are another story altogether.
A young royals fan in Fiji was snapped immediately wrapping their arms around the Duchess and hugging her pregnant belly.
The fan then took a cheeky little grab of the Duchess:
Meghan showed off her maternal instinct as she smiled down at the excited fan, clearly in no rush to move along.
Locals captured the hilarious little moment on their smartphones as other young fans with signs edged in, hoping to get a cuddle with the pregnant princess.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at the University of the South Pacific in Suva this morning.
Meghan arrived in a colourful pink Figue dress with a blue and white floral pattern for the tropical nation. She wore black and beige platform heels with a matching clutch, and had tropical flowers in her hair, which was tied back.
The Duchess’ baby bump was proudly on display as she strolled across the red carpet to greet locals excitedly lining the streets in Suva.
Prince Harry donned a casual look for the island, with a blue short-sleeve button-up shirt, dark chinos and brown boots.
The pair arrived on the island yesterday afternoon, where they were greeted by thousands of royal fans.
MEGHAN’S POWERFUL SPEECH ON WOMEN’S EDUCATION
The Duchess of Sussex gave a powerful speech on the importance of education and women’s empowerment in Fiji.
Speaking to students at the University of the South Pacific, Meghan revealed her own struggle to fund her way through university.
“It was through scholarships, financial aid programs and work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition — that I was able to attend university,” she told the crowd. “And — without question — it was worth every effort.”
She highlighted the importance of women’s education, saying: “Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital.
“Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development. Because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.”
This marked Meghan’s first official speech on the tour, and her second speech ever as the Duchess, after her cookbook launch in London.
Last night, Meghan oozed Hollywood glamour in a full-length caped blue dress at a state banquet with Harry, clutching her growing baby bump as she met with the Fijian President and other officials.
The couple is due to arrive back in Sydney on Friday afternoon.
HARRY’S INCREDIBLE EXCHANGE WITH WAR WIDOW
A war veteran’s widow has revealed the incredible response given by Prince Harry after palace aides attempted to cut short their conversation.
Invictus Games ambassador Gwen Cherne, whose husband Peter Cafe served in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq before taking his own life earlier this year, was photographed in an embrace with the Duke of Sussex during his Sydney Harbour Bridge climb last Friday.
The mother-of-three —who was one of the select few chosen to accompany Harry on the climb — told People magazine that the pair spoke of “grief and loss” before aides attempted to interrupt and hurry him along.
But Harry wasn’t having it, simply telling them: “I’m in the middle of a conversation, and I’m not going to leave this.”
“He didn’t care what the agenda was. He took the time to have conversations and he was really lovely. We talked about real issues,” Ms Cherne, 41, told news.com.au.
“He was comfortable and calm. We were having thoughtful conversations while walking up — it was actually relaxing.”
She also explained to People that they’d spoken about mental health and“how difficult it is still, in our society, to talk about grief and loss and suicide.”
“And how important things like the Invictus Games are to shedding light on, and allowing people to start to have these conversations that are great to have” she said.
The royals have been touring Australia for the Invictus Games, a multi-sport event founded by Harry for wounded ex-service personnel, which is currently under way in Sydney.
Ms Cherne said Harry and Meghan have provided a “beacon of hope and light for so many”.
“They’re touching, they’re shining that interest on the Games, and that shines light on their service and that shines light on the sacrifices their families make,” she told the publication.
“I was humbled by the opportunity to spend that time with (Harry) and grateful for all he is doing given his place in the world.”
PRINCE OF DENMARK SNAPPED IN SYDNEY
First there was Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, now the Invictus Games have drawn another royal with Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark spotted cheering on his nation’s team.
Following on from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Danish prince has thrown his support behind military veterans at the games in Sydney Olympic Park.
The prince, who is the husband of Australian-born royal Princess Mary, watched a sitting volleyball exhibition match between Denmark and Canada on Tuesday evening ahead of the finals event.
The prince was pictured sitting between 99-year-old US veterans Steven Melnikoff and Michael Gantich, with a post from the official Invictus Games account showing him smiling as he cheered on the teams.
It’s the second day the prince has been spotted supporting his national team. The Danish Palace posted a photo on Instagram of Prince Frederik alongside a sailing silver medallist at the games on Monday.
“His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Denmark was one of the first to congratulate the team when Denmark won a silver medal in sailing,” the palace said in a caption written in Danish.