Warm Fijian welcome for Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Thousands of people converged on Suva’s Albert Park Tuesday afternoon for the traditional welcome ceremony for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on their first official visit since their wedding in April this year.

The couple were welcomed with a traditional kava ceremony and a presentation of mats, a roasted pig and kava plants.

The Duke of Sussex took his first ever drink of kava much to the delight of the crowd who cheered and clapped.

In a short address, Prince Harry thanked the people of Fiji for the warm welcome and said he and his wife are looking forward to meeting as many people as possible.

At the end of the traditional ceremony, throngs of people rushed towards the Grand Pacific Hotel across the road from Albert Park for the royal wave.

Prince Harry and Meghan followed a tradition set by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1953, when they appeared on the balcony and waved to the crowd.

Many people who turned up to the event remarked about the rain during the ceremony saying it was a good sign.

For 13-year old Adi Salote Vibote Driu of Sabeto, Nadi, the occasion was even more special.

Driu, who was dressed in traditional indigenous Fijian attire presented a bouquet of flowers to the Duchess at Nausori International Airport.

“It was a moment for me to cherish whole throughout my life. And I am thankful to be given such an opportunity to greet the royal couple during their first visit to Fiji,” Driu said.

Her proud cousin, Milinia Ene said everyone in Sabeto was glued to their TV sets to watch the live coverage of the arrival.

“Everyone was emotional and shared a few tears when we saw Salote greeting the Duchess of Sussex. It is indeed a proud moment for the village and its people. We are really proud of her,” Ene said.


Photos Fiji Government      

Josephine Navula