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Thousands come out to greet Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Fiji

The light rain and winds didn’t cool the warm welcome to Fiji.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived to Suva’s Nausori airport where Melanie Hopkins, the High Commissioner and Chief of Protocol, Jonetani Tagivetaua greeted the couple.

The Hon Frank Bainamara, Fiji’s Prime Minister and his wife, Maria, also met the couple.

Prince Harry took the Royal Salute on the tarmac of the 3rd Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment and the Fiji Navy.

As the couple departed the airport, thousands of people lined the street to catch a quick glimpse. Children were out of schools and adults off work as every sidewalk and building was covered in people.

Before heading to Albert Park, they met with Fiji’s President, Jioji Konrote.

Albert Park hosted an official welcome ceremony where over 10,000 people attended. The ceremony mirrored the one put on for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s visit in 1953.

The couple watched on as 100 men from Fiji’s Nakelo area performed the traditional war dance “meke vakavanua.”

They were also offered a roast pig. The crowd cheered on when Prince Harry was given ‘Kava’, a drink with sedative powers. He choked it down as the group laughed and yelled for the Duke.

Prince Harry addressed the crowd, once again in pouring rain. The saving factor was the awning overhead which the water came over in buckets.

From the ceremony, they crossed the road to the Grand Pacific Hotel where the duo appeared on the balcony waving to the rapturous crowds. It was the same appearance that The Queen and Prince Philip made in their first trip in 1953.

Since that visit, Fiji has played host to The Queen another five times, three visits from Prince Charles and one each from Prince Andrew and Princess Anne.

To end the first day in Fiji, the Duke and Duchess were at a State Dinner where the Duchess was dressed in a blue cape dress by SAFiYAA.

Some reports suggest the ‘Fijian Blue’ colour is a nod to her hosts.

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