The following is a statement from the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama ahead of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle’s royal tour to Fiji.
I am delighted on behalf of the Fijian Government and the Fijian people to welcome the formal announcement from Kensington Palace that their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Fiji in October.
I know that this announcement will be greeted with great enthusiasm in Fiji. Prince Harry and Her Royal Highness have captured the hearts of the Fijian people, just as they have captured the hearts of billions of people around the world, and we look forward to warmly welcoming them and showing them our special brand of Fijian hospitality.
The precise dates of the visit have yet to be announced but it will be after the Invictus Games in Australia and we expect that the Royal Couple will spend two days in Fiji towards the end of October.
They will also be visiting New Zealand and Tonga. The details of their programme in Fiji will be announced in due course.
But I am sure that their engagements will reflect Prince Harry’s keen interest in the welfare of young people and his dedication to the preservation of the environment and Duchess of Sussex interest in the empowerment of women and girls.
I also know having met His Royal Highness that he has a keen interest in Fijian rugby and a particular affinity for our servicemen and women, having served alongside some of them in the British Army during his two tours of Afghanistan.
His visit to Fiji also underlines his special interest in the Commonwealth and our own historical ties with Great Britain and the Royal Family.
Prince Harry is a direct descendent of Queen Victoria, to whom the chiefs of Fiji ceded our islands in 1874.
He is also the son of H.R.H the Prince of Wales, who handed us our instruments of Independence in 1970 and the grandson of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who we have had the pleasure of welcoming to Fiji on three separate occasions – in 1953, 1963 and 1982.
So as well as an opportunity for Fiji to welcome this exceptional couple, the visit of his Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be a symbol of our strong commitment to the Commonwealth and our continuing affection for the Royal Family.
Source: DEPTFO News