The Sussex Team

Meghan and Harry Spend a Day of Engagements in Suva, Fiji

After yesterday’s welcome and state dinner in Fiji, Meghan and Harry continued their visit to the island nation today, carrying out several engagements together and separately.

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Our duke spent his morning laying a wreath at the National War Memorial in Veiuto, Suva. Harry was wearing the “tropical dress of the Blues and Royals” for the ceremony, in which he paid tribute to those Fijians who lost their lives in combat.

Credit: Doug Peters / Alamy Stock Photo

He arrived at 8.15am, to start his first solo engagement in Fiji, and was welcomed the Permanent Secretary for Fiji’s Ministry of Defence and National Security, Osea Cawaru. During his visit, he was introduced to veterans of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

Credit: Doug Peters / Alamy Stock Photo

From there, Harry joined Meghan for a visit to the University of the South Pacific campus in Suva mark the university’s 50th anniversary.

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Meghan and Harry were welcomed by Queen’s Young Leader Elisha Azeemah Bano and Commonwealth Youth Award winner Elvis Kumar, both of whom are students at the university.

They were also warmly greeted by pipe playing musicians and cheering crowds as they walked down the red carpet which had been rolled-out for their arrival.

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

A video from the arrival

For the three-year-old Natasha Manvella Tanotto who has been waiting since 8.30 AM, it was a dream come true to meet Meghan! The little girl managed to escape through tight security and even sneaked her mother’s hands when she ran for a hug by Meghan.

Afterwards she said she was so happy, that she would tell her dad and her friends that she had met Meghan.

Her mother added: “She was so desperate to meet them, and I had no choice but to bring her because I knew we would get a closer look from here,”

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Meghan and Harry then went inside the university to observe a cultural performance on the effects of climate change in the Pacific from the university’s Oceania Dance Troupe, before meeting students studying subjects from agriculture to women’s development.

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Meghan gave her first speech of the tour during their visit, where she spoke about about the importance of access to education for all, revealing her own personal experiences of struggling to afford college fees and told about the “feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university”. Addressing the audience with a traditional greeting of “Bula!” she told how it was “a great privilege” to be on the island.

You can read the full speech below

“Bula! It is a great privilege to be with all of you today. As a university graduate, I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university. From the moment you receive your acceptance letter, to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni, and the moment you receive your diploma.
The journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful and pivotal one. I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world – myself included. It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes and work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition – that I was able to attend university.

And, without question, it was worth every effort. 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.

While progress has been made in many areas across the Commonwealth, there is always scope to offer more opportunities to the next generation of young adults, and specifically to young women. The Association of Commonwealth Universities, which has Her Majesty The Queen is Patron of, supports universities to promote equality in their own institutions. I am pleased to announce today that two new grants will be awarded to Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific, allowing each of them to run workshops which empower their female staff.
This means that female faculty members are able to encourage others to follow in their footsteps and enter higher-education, and that more womenbecome part of the decision-making process in academic institutions. Grants like this ensure that women are provided with the training and skills to operate effectively in their roles, and those with leadership potential are given the opportunity to be heard and recognised at the most senior level.

It is wonderful to join you here today and we look forward to learning more about your academic endeavours, and the work you plan to do as future leaders and as change-makers! My husband Harry and I, wish you all the very best of luck as you continue your studies and work. Your efforts now will help to make a positive future for each of you and your communities at large – congratulations to you all!”

Or watch it here:

At the close of her remarks, the event’s MC was so moved that he actually forgot to introduce Prince Harry (hahaha), prompting Harry to stand up and say,“I thought I got away with it,” as he approached the podium. “No way that I could follow my wife after that.” Watch the clip below.

Watch the clip below

Meghan went solo after the engagement, to helpe make a traditional breakfast dish at a morning tea at the British High Commissioner’s Residence as she met representatives from women’s organizations in Fiji.

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

More from ITV:

“She was attending a morning tea at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Suva, Fiji, and met a female pilot for Fijian Airways as well as women serving in the armed forces and police.
Cookery trainer Alisi Delai showed the mother-to-be how to scrape coconut flesh and extract the juice with a hot stone to make the meal.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Delai said:

“This (lote) is something we Fijians have for breakfast instead of porridge, or as a dessert. It is made from smoked breadfruit – the breadfruit that we used was picked from the High Commissioner’s Garden yesterday afternoon.”

We have some banana and papaya, and then it is finished with infused coconut, which has had the hot stone added to the grated coconut to release the flavour. “She wanted to mix all the ingredients together, to participate in making the lote.

She also enjoyed me demonstrating how we sit with the coconut scraper. She found it very interesting, how we use our traditional methods of cooking, and how in Fiji we are very alive with our culture in terms of local cuisine. We like to show the local cuisine by using the local produce. Meghan also met a woman who has made a living out of fashioning baskets and bags after her village was destroyed by cyclone Winston in 2016.

Temalesi Vere, 44, who is married with five children, said three people were killed and 98% of the homes were destroyed when the cyclone hit her stretch of the coast in Ra province. I told her that the handicraft helped our family, and helped us to earn money,” said Ms Vere. “She really appreciated what we are doing here.” Janet Lotawa, the director of Rise From The Reef, an organisation which supports the craftswomen, also met the duchess and said: “She definitely seemed to be interested in marginalised women.

“She seemed pretty adept at understanding the dynamics of economic development for women.”

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

A video below

From there, Meghan got a very colorful welcome at Suva Market, where she visited to meet women who have benefited from the UN’s Markets for Change programme

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Meghan met with representatives from the UN Markets for Change initiative, which “seeks to promote a safe, inclusive environment for women vendors in a number of South Pacific nations,”

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Meghan was scheduled to spend 15 minutes at the market but had to leave after around eight minute for security reasons.

A palace aide said:

“It was hot, humid and uncomfortably busy and there were far larger crowds than expected. She met everyone she was meant to meet and left. There would have been a lot of people who would have been keen to meet her but she did met those who had hoped to. On advice she was taken out due to crowd management issue.”

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

A video from the engagement:

Very fitting for today’s engagaments, Meghan wore the colourful Figue Frederica floral-print silk crepe de chine maxi dress

She styled it with her Castaner Carina canvas wedge espadrilles

She accessorised with the Shaun Leane Gold Serpents Bracelet.

And And her Temptation Pearl Stud earrings by Karen Walker.

Tomorrows schedule:

  • Meghan and Harry will attend an official welcome ceremony at Nadi Airport and later unveil a statue commemorating Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba.
  • Next, they will fly to Tonga via charter plane and meet a fellow royal, Princess Angelika Latufuipeka, upon arrival.
  • During the afternoon, they’ll visit Consular House for a private audience with King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipauʻu, followed by a reception and dinner with traditional Tongan entertainment.

Stay tuned

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