According to the Palace, the Duchess of Sussex was rushed out of a busy market in Fiji due to “crowd management issues”.
The 37-year-old royal – who recently announced she’s expecting her first child with the Duke of Sussex – made a visit to the venue on Wednesday (10.24.18) in order to learn more about a UN Women project called Markets for Change, but after just eight minutes, her security team decided to rush the Duchess out of the crowded area.
Initially, the Palace claimed that the decision was taken because of “uncomfortable conditions” – but later, it was conceded that “crowd management issues” was the reason behind the abrupt exit.
Despite this, the Duchess – who was known as Meghan Markle prior to her marriage in May – still managed to meet the four women she’d originally intended to.
Meanwhile, in her first speech on the royals’ ongoing tour, the Duchess stressed the value of education and also spoke of her own struggle to afford to attend university.
The former ‘Suits’ actress – who attended Northwestern University in the US – said that the “journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful and pivotal one”.
She continued: “I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world – myself included.
“It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes and work-study – where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition – that I was able to attend university. And, without question, it was worth every effort.
“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.”
Meghan takes spotlight amid royal fever in Fiji
British royal Meghan Markle sent adoring crowds into a frenzy in Fiji on Wednesday when she took centre stage from husband Prince Harry to passionately promote women’s rights.
The American-born 37 year old recounted her struggle to afford higher education in her maiden international speech, made to students at the University of the South Pacific.
She also met female traders at the Suva markets, although so many enthusiastic fans were jammed into the venue that her security detail cut short the pregnant duchess’s visit.
Meghan, who married into the royal family five months ago, made the case for open access to education, particularly for women.
“For women and girls in developing countries this is vital,” she said. “Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development.
“When girls are given the right tools to succeed they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves, but for all of those around them.”
Meghan, 37, graduated with a communications degree from Northwestern University in Illinois before becoming an actress then marrying Harry earlier this year.
Announcing two grants to encourage female empowerment in Pacific academia, she said higher education for her was “incredible, impactful and pivotal”, despite the challenge of paying for it.
“It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes and work-study – where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition – that I was able to attend university,” she said.
“And, without question, it was worth every effort.”
Meghan’s visit to meet women participating in the UN project Markets for Change was curtailed, with Kensington Palace later citing “crowd management issues” Rosemerry Dautei, 35, said Fijians were keen to see the visiting royals.
“It is just the excitement… this is an opportunity that has to be grabbed with both hands,” she said.
Meghan’s message resonated with Shayaa Chand, 22, who said: “In today’s era we should support women and we should make them leaders. We are very grateful that Mrs Meghan thinks that way.”
Harry, who attended the elite Eton school and Sandhurst military academy, watched his spouse’s university address with admiration.
“No way I can follow my wife after that,” he said, to laughter from the assembled students.
The prince acknowledged the Pacific’s concerns about climate change, announcing four scholarships to study the issue.
“All of you living here are confronted with this threat in your daily lives,” he said. “You’re actually experiencing changing weather patterns, ferocious cyclones and rising sea levels, particularly in Tuvalu and Kiribati.
“You’ve been living with this for many years, way before the world started talking about it.”
The royal couple, who arrived in Fiji on Tuesday after a week in Australia, appeared relaxed touring the campus, meeting students and pre-school children.
Meghan wore a pink floral wrap dress with a pompom trim, and flowers in her hair, while Harry sported a blue Hawaiian shirt.
The day started on a sombre note for Harry, who attended a ceremony at the Fiji war memorial in Suva.
“In grateful memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country,” he wrote on a note attached to a wreath laid at the memorial.
The royals will travel to Tonga on Thursday before returning briefly to Australia then wrapping up the tour with a visit to New Zealand.
Prince Harry and Meghan arrive in hot Fiji for 3-day visit
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were greeted by hundreds of flag-waving well-wishers on Tuesday after arriving in Fiji for a three-day visit as part of their tour of the South Pacific.
School children in uniform and people of all ages lined the streets and waved both British Union Jack and Fijian flags as Prince Harry and Meghan’s motorcade drove past.
The couple arrived from Australia, where Meghan, who is four months pregnant, had her schedule reduced in recent days after a hectic start to their 16-day trip across four countries. Meghan has not announced any plans to reduce her schedule in Fiji.
After stepping off the plane, Meghan needed to hold her cream-colored hat to prevent it from being blown away as Harry inspected a guard of honor. There was a light drizzle and an official held an umbrella above Meghan’s head.
The couple was scheduled to attend an official welcome ceremony at Suva’s Albert Park that will mirror one attended by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. It was to involve traditional elements of Fijian culture, including dances and a kava ceremony. Members of the public are invited and 15,000 are expected to attend.
The couple was scheduled to attend a reception and state dinner Tuesday evening hosted by Fijian President Jioji Konrote.
The couple is scheduled to visit Tonga on Thursday before returning to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, Harry’s brainchild and the focus of their tour. The couple will then finish their tour with a four-day visit to New Zealand.