Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are halfway through their royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga, and are currently on the Fiji leg of the trip. The couple endured a jam-packed day on Tuesday local time, having arrived in Fiji early in the morning to keep up with their engagements.
Part of Tuesday’s schedule included the Duke inspecting the Guard of Honor that greeted them at the airport, and a state dinner in which the Duchess’ growing baby bump was on full display, as previously reported by Inquisitr.
On Wednesday morning, the couple split for separate engagements, which saw Meghan travel to the Suva Municipal Market, where she was set to meet the women who are part of the UN Markets for Change project selling their creations at the market in order to provide an income for their families. Unfortunately, as news.com.au reported, the Duchess’ trip to the market was suddenly cut short over security concerns.
According to the outlet, it was determined that the sheer number of people who had gathered at the market in an effort to catch just a glimpse of Meghan was creating a security risk for the pregnant Duchess and she was advised to hurry it along before she even had a chance to meet the women she was supposed to see.
Local people were eagerly waiting for the Duchess of Sussex at the Suva Market. They were so excited for her arrival that they got together as a group started singing.#RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/W3u91ZxCKN
— ukinfiji ???????????????? (@ukinfiji) October 24, 2018
The order is said to have come directly from Kensington Palace, and Meghan’s security whisked her away from the market with only about half the scheduled time spent there.
Crowds had been gathering inside the market since the early hours of the morning hoping to see Meghan, with some avid fans even climbing up on nearby roofs to see her.
Despite royal sources describing the market as “uncomfortably busy,” onlookers say the crowds were “well behaved, cheerful, and seemingly posed no threat.”
Mirror UK had one of their photographers on the scene, Ian Vogler, who was able to describe the setting.
“It was crowded inside the market and really cramped. The alleyways in the market were very narrow and I could understand why Meghan’s personal protection officers would judge it to be an unsafe environment, especially with her being pregnant. It was also very hot and humid in the market and there were a lot of people in very close quarters to the Duchess, which explains why she was rushed away away.”
A royal source defended the decision to remove Meghan from the market just eight minutes after she had arrived.
“The Duchess was only due to drop into the market event which was only meant to be an extension of the reception at the High Commission. It was cut slightly short due to the large number of people within the market, which made the event uncomfortably busy. There were much bigger crowds than people had been anticipating and there were a lot of people cramped into the market.”
Earlier in the morning, Meghan and Harry had visited the University of the South Pacific, where both had given speeches after meeting with the crowds outside. The couple was offered traditional Fijian leis, and both wore them for the remainder of their visit.
"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.” — The Duchess of Sussex at @UniSouthPacific #RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/ZWXxiBNcEY
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 24, 2018
The Sussexes were dressed down for the less formal occasion after enjoying a strictly black-tie state dinner the night before. Meghan opted for a long-sleeved ruffle dress by brand Figure, according to 9News. The dress is made of a pink and purple floral pattern and features a v-neck. The Duchess also paid homage to her tropical surroundings by adorning her chic updo with a number of beautiful frangipani flowers.
Harry, meanwhile, wore a blue and white feather patterned shirt and a pair of dark blue jeans for the morning’s visit.