Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Repeat History in Fiji!

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began the next leg of their royal tour when they arrived by charter flight to Fiji's capital of Suva this afternoon.


The Duke and Duchess were greeted by a Guard of Honour at the airport.


Kensington Palace said Harry and Meghan are "embarking on a three-day programme, experiencing the rich Fijian culture and generous hospitality." It marks the first time the couple have paid a visit to the Melanesian country. Following a restful day on Fraser Island, the Duchess is resuming a full schedule of duties.


British High Commissioner to Fiji Melanie Hopkins described the visit as "wonderful and tremendous", adding "We are so excited about this visit and I really hope that this is a visit for all of Fiji and it will be a great moment of celebration and joy about the special relationship and I know that the royal couple are really looking forward to coming to Fiji."


From the airport, they travelled to Borron House to meet the President of Fiji, Jioji Konrote.


They discussed plans for their trip in the region with the President and his wife.


And posed for official photos.


The Duchess was gifted a pearl necklace.


Stunning Fiji is a Melanesian country in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about one-third of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii and consists of an archipelago of 332 islands, a handful of which make up most of the land area, and approximately 110 of which are inhabited.


The exposure the royal visit brings has been welcomed by locals. Tourism is the backbone of the Fijian economy. The industry has contributed significantly to the country and is the largest foreign exchange earner. The sector provides employment directly and indirectly to an estimated 45,000 people. In 2017, Fiji welcomed 842,884 visitors to its shores.


The Duke and Duchess are very much retracing Her Majesty's footsteps. In 1953, the Queen and Prince Philip visited Fiji as part of the monarch's first Commonwealth tour as Queen. The visit was particularly special as it was the first time a British Sovereign had stepped foot in Fiji.


Below, the Queen receiving a bouquet of Fijian flowers from Adi Kaunilotuma, a Fijian princess. The Princess wore a dress bearing the Royal Crown motif.


Today, the Duchess was presented with a bouquet of flowers by a flower girl from the chiefly island of Bau.


You can view archive footage from the visit below.


More on the history of royal visits to Fiji from The Fiji Times:

'As Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan descend onto our shores on their whirlwind tour of the South Pacific, we take a look back on the past royal visits to the country spanning more than 100 years.
For Fiji, it began 139 years ago in 1879 when the Vunivalu of Bau (Warlord of Bau) and paramount Chief Ratu Seru Cakobau first ceded Fiji to Queen Victoria in exchange for protection. As part of his submission and loyalty, Ratu Seru Cakobau considered the “Tui Viti” or King of Fiji had gifted Queen Victoria his war club.
The prized war club was called Na Tutuvi Kuta nei Radi ni Bau (The sleeping cover of the Queen of Bau) referring to the traditional duty of the Vunivalu to protect the principal wife of the Rokotui Bau and could be taken to mean Cakobau accepted protection from Queen Victoria and her successors.
Neither Queen Victoria nor her successors ever used the title of Tui Viti, but the Fijians considered them Kings and Queens of Fiji in the traditional sense of Tui Viti, not just in the Western sense of Sovereign. That traditional respect will once again be shown to the second son of the Prince of Wales today.'

The Duke and Duchess then attended an official welcome ceremony in the city centre's Albert Park. The ceremony, known as the Veirqaraqaravi Vakavanua, embodies Fijian cultural identity and heritage, and mirrored in format that of the one attended by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. Rebecca English notes: "The couple sat on a raised Dias with everyone seated below them as a mark of respect. No-one is allowed to wear anything on their heads or have anything above their head like an umbrella. And don’t expect any clapping or cheering - according to Fijian tradition the ceremony is meant to be carried out in complete silence."


It involved a number of traditional elements of Fijian culture, including dance performances, the presentation of the Tabua, and a Kava ceremony.


The ceremony in 1953.


Below, Prince Harry drinking Kava. It is a crop of the pacific islands. The root of the plant is used to produce an entheogenic drink with sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant properties.


Despite the rainy weather, there was incredible excitement at Albert Park.


Emily Nash noted: "Amazing turnout for Harry and Meghan, with people lining the route all the way from Nausori airport. Everyone got a half day holiday for the occasion!"


A video.


We mentioned the royal pair are repeating history with this trip.


They echoed the Queen and Prince Philip's visit by appearing on the balcony of the Grand Pacific Hotel.


Thousands of well-wishers cheered.


Harry and Meghan appeared delighted with the huge turnout.


The Duchess looked regal in a pearl white long sleeve dress by Australian brand Zimmermann. The brand  was founded in 1991 by sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann and has become a fashion favourite all over the world. The dress appears to be a modified version of their White Long Sleeve Dress. The look is reminiscent of Her Majesty's style during her first visit to the country.


Meghan's hat is by British milliner Stephen Jones.


The Duchess carried her Kayu Anna black straw clutch.


Meghan sported her Tabitha Simmons Millie Slingback pumps. The $695 style is described: "Set on a slim heel, this pair of Tabitha Simmon's pumps has a point-toe silhouette, bow-embellished heel and are crafted from black suede."


The Duchess accessorised with jewellery with royal connections. Meghan wore the pearl earrings Her Majesty gifted her when they travelled overnight on the Royal Train before a day of engagements in Chester.


And a tennis bracelet which was a gift from Prince Charles. The delicate bracelet features a gold clasp. Meghan's worn the piece on a number of occasions; the evening before the wedding, the Buckingham Palace garden party in support of Prince Charles' patronages and her away day in Chester with the Queen. It seems very fitting to wear jewellery from both the Queen and the Prince of Wales - they both have an enduring relationship with Fiji.


And completed the look with her Catbird Threadbare Rings.


We'll see the couple at the State Dinner next.

39 comments:

  1. Quite a change! I wondered if the luggage got removed too early on Fraser Island, they both looked so rumpled. Now they are the elegant Duke and Duchess, complete with hat and medals, dressed for an official day. In retrospect, Fraser was a little vacation for Meghan, and time in the wilderness for Harry. They obviously enjoyed it.

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  2. Unbelievable! The daily mail has its website right at this writing as " next stop Fiji".
    They are at your last post. You keep surpassing even the oldest website with so many resources and sources around the world. Myself here, had been shopping on line between your last post and this one. You and this couple are moving on at high speed.

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  3. Linen shirts are what they are, a tendency to wrinkle. They looked natural and comfortable boarding the plane to Fiji

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    1. Very true. But Harry appeared to be in his rain forest attire from the day before, and Meghan had worn her shirt in Australia. Maybe they needed to save luggage space, but it seemed a bit odd.

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  4. What a stunning couple! Love this look for them both! Meghan really has a lovely pregnancy glow about her :)

    Love Avee in SA

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  5. Hmm i love. The dress i wondered hoe their quck changes are they luggage are in their airplane They look ready and roll up Im sure will enjoy their time on fiki btw. I love the dress

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  6. Looks like a duchess! Safe look after an unsafe look. Everyone is going to be annoyed by the white dress though!!

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    1. Very safe look... perfectly appropriate :)

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  7. I know this is a bit unrelated but can someone guess what Meghan's shade will be (foundation) maybe Mac or Maybelline. She's the closest any public figure has come to my skintone and I'd really like to know. Thanks!

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    1. Royal 👑 Watcher23 October 2018 at 07:19

      I have it in my mind that Meghan would wear makeup such as Mac, but both Lancome and Estee Lauder have good quality make up in both lighter and darker shades. He skin looks lovely, I would also be interested to know what she wears. Maybe something natural and organic?

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    2. Riddhi, when Meghan was doing Suits, she told Allure that she used a light wash of Chanel Sublimage foundation when she was working. She said when not working, she preferred to just use primer and concealer instead of a base foundation so that her freckles could show through. Not sure what she does now in royal life. Many brands such as Mac have a wide spectrum of shades now though and the consultants are really good at helping customers find their correct shade.

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    3. Doesn't she wear Dior Foundation. I believe there were may articles about her wearing a new Dior Foundation for the wedding. However, everything I read never revealed her specific shade though. I will say that their Backstage line, which is the one she was reported to have used according to her make-up artist friend, has a big range of colors so you will probably find something that suits you. Good Luck!

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  8. Dee from Adelaide, Australia 🇦🇺23 October 2018 at 06:24

    Meghan looks beautiful! And, the Duke so handsome. I’m thrilled at her love of Australian labels. I wonder how they managed to change in the Qantas plane. I’ve been on that very same Qantas plane, it’s a one of a kind with the indigenous livery (😃😃). I’m pinching myself with that happy coincidence, and the Business Class section is small, only 12 seats. And, the toilet would be the only place to change and that’s teeny tiny. I’m guessing they boarded the plane dressed in what they have on, hence the wrinkles and her hair looking a little limp. I can’t imagine that they dressed in that toilet 😳😳 and there would be no opportunity for a hair dryer. They still look wonderful, and I’m happy to see a truly Royal choice to meet their hosts. Fiji will be fun, with their incredible hospitality. Bula Fiji 😍😍

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  9. Can someone find out the meaning of the paint job on this Quantas airplane? The more I see if it, the less I understand it!

    Oh! And Meghan looks lovely.:-)

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    1. Royal 👑 Watcher23 October 2018 at 07:21

      To me it looks like Aboriginal/indigenous dreamtime painting, with the dots lining the colour change. It does look like the mouth of a shark, but that could be completely wrong.

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  10. Dee from Adelaide, Australia 🇦🇺23 October 2018 at 06:31

    Oh my goodness. A follow up to my last post. I just saw that they did indeed board the plane in Queensland in their casual Fraser Island attire ... so they DID change it that incredibly teeny, tiny toilet. 😳😳😳😳😳. Now, that would have been a moment for them to remember. You literally can hardly turn around in the Business Class toilet on a 737-800. 😂😂

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    1. I thought their plane had first. Class suites maybe there's a 'bedroom ?

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    2. Isn't it possible that the airlines simply fitted some area with a means to provide privacy, better seating, or removed a few seats in an area? It was a charter and not all planes are equipped identically in the cabin, they can be changed quite dramatically in the passenger area.

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    3. Royal 👑 Watcher23 October 2018 at 07:25

      They would be able to section off parts of the plane to allow for privacy and clothing changes, I am sure of it. Regular scheduled flights usually touch down in Brisbane, so they could potentially have changed there, but it is hours away from Fiji, so maybe not.

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    4. Dee, from Adelaide, Australia 🇦🇺23 October 2018 at 11:25

      Hi Anonymous, BethW7372 and Royal Watcher, I’ve been on this exact plane recently 😀😀. It’s a 737-800. There’s no First Class, only Business Class and Economy. The Business Class is only modest - 12 seats, and the rest of the aircraft is Economy. It wouldn’t have been refit as this plane is in regular service. My only thought is that they chartered this aircraft. I’ve read that she travelled to Fiji in her casual outfit. So, it looks like she did change on board in that teeny, tiny toilet. I still can’t believe I’ve traveled on a “Royal” plane. 😳😳. Although I did meet Prince Charles about 6 months before he met the then Lady Diana Spencer. I thought PC was SO good looking when I was introduced to him. I totally swooned at the 1977 PC 😍😍

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    5. Royal 👑 Watcher23 October 2018 at 13:37

      Thanks for your feedback and interesting info, Dee!! Maybe they had Business Class to themselves then, and got changed there? Pure speculation, but I cannot see anyone squeezing into a toilet room for a clothing change. What if the outfit got wet or dirty?

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  11. Oh the first time I am reading about royal protocols for real!:)

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  12. Awww, she looks so stunning in that first photo! I know it won't be a look that pleases those who were baying for more colour, but really, she is glowing and those pale tones are SO flattering with her skin. And Charlotte, I'm starting to think you might be there as well, because the speed with which you get these posts up is just mind boggling! :-)

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  13. I think that Meghan looks great. This is so appropriate for the welcome celerbation that they had waiting for them. I'm so looking forward to their royal tour in Fiji. I wanted to comment on Harry's attire. While he started with navy suits but whisked away his tie when his host didn't have one on. And now in a linen suit with the medals is surprising to me. This landing could call for the navy suit.

    Meghan looks lovely. I believe the ivory dress is completely on par. Can't wait to see a close of the bracelet that PC bought. Can't see it yet.

    Looking forward to these festivities. And of course what Charlotte's amazing blog will educate us on. I've never been and don't know much about Fiji. :-)

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  14. Bula! Omg, my mother & I were excitedly watching their arrival in Suva & we weren’t disappointed :) My mother said it reminded her of when she went to see Prince Charles when Fiji gained independence in 1970. Shame about the wind & rain, though! (Suva is known as the ‘rainy’ side of the island & Nadi is the ‘dry/hot’ side). H&M looked very stylish upon their arrival...I first thought “oh, Meghan’s in white again...yawn!”, but on a second look, I really liked the dress & hat. And Harry’s spiffy suit was just the right touch for the warm & humid climate in Fiji. Hope they enjoy the local hospitality & can’t wait to see them at the state dinner.

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  15. Meghan looks beautiful and appropriate as she always does. My grandfather was born in Fiji as the son of the British ambassador (many years ago 1916, I think). He always said the people there had music in their souls.
    This tour makes me proud to be Australian. I love the way these two have been received and the way they have received us.
    Well done Charlotte. This is s mammoth task, especially with the time difference.

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  16. Charlotte, I am always in awe of the level of research that goes in to your posts. I love learning the history and significance of the various events of royal tours. I've particularly enjoyed reading about various elements of my own country that I either didn't know about or had forgotten about because it has been so long since I learnt it at school.
    Fiji is going to bring a completely different dynamic to this trip compared to Australia, because of the connection to Queen Victoria you mentioned.
    While I am enjoying getting royal tour updates from you (I'm not even bothering with news sources because you're so much quicker than them) I do hope there is a much deserved break in your future.

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  17. Random thought: in the image of everyone taking photos, there is one guy not facing them at all. anyone else wondering what he is taking a photo of???

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    1. I think he’s doing a selfie with the royals ;)

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  18. Thank you Charlotte for this beautiful post! They are stunning, love both of them, nice to see them on the footsteps of her majesty the queen


    Silvia

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  19. Yes i love The history behind it the queen and prince philp it would ne nice if we will see them black and white

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  20. The white and black together are so elegant. I’m always impressed when she has to wear a hat but still manages to stay true to her style.

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  21. The cream color looks very becoming on her! I love her outfit and I'm glad she looks refreshed. I'm really excited for this leg of their tour and I can't wait to see her in a gown.

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  22. She looks gorgeous. Love the dress and hat.

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  23. History doesn't normally repeat itself for the better but this time it did! I'm glad Meghan got to have her activities scaled back its a lot for a pregnant person and at this time in the pregnancy slowing down is critical. Her royal given jewellery is lovely and her outfit was planned out very thoughtfully. The hat and hair and whole ensemble is stunning

    Thanks Charlotte

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  24. Harry's grey suit!! That is all.

    Love the pearl color on Meghan. The dress is creased, but from what I understand they changed on the plane?

    They both look so happy and like they are really enjoying this whole tour.

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  25. She looks so tired in the photo from the balcony! Her eyes are almost glassy.

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  26. I like every detail of this look on Meghan: flattering, nicely tailored cream dress, great hat and accessories. She looks every inch a duchess representing the Queen.

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  27. Love, love, LOVE the Zimmermann outfit - that colour is glorious on Meghan. And that "Fijian" blue evening gown on HRH - BE. STILL. MY. BEATING. HEART. Just gorgeous!

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