Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s visit to Fiji is ‘wrong timing’

By @chelean on
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle greet well-wishers in Sydney Australia, Oct. 16, 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle greet well-wishers in Sydney Australia, Oct. 16, 2018. Twitter/KensingtonRoyal

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Fiji on Tuesday as part of their official Royal overseas tour, but while they have received warm welcome from locals, some diplomats don’t want them in the country at all. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit was apparently on wrong timing as the country would be holding its election in a few weeks.

Robin Nair, former foreign affairs permanent secretary, previously told the ABC that the Royal couple’s visit to the country would be used by political candidates for their own gain. He said that “the perception if, of course, that the [Fijian] Government will take full advantage” to be seen with Harry and Meghan while they are in the country.

“Fijians love the Royals … and the Government knows that there will be great euphoria and joy created by the visit,” he said. The Fijian election is on Nov. 14.

“I would have thought the British High Commission in Suva would have advised the Commonwealth office in London about the forthcoming elections and the environment in which the elections are taking place,” he added. “The palace should be advised that the visit should be postponed.

“It’s not the right timing.”

Government critic Shailendra G Raju, who was an aid of two former Fijian prime ministers, had also asked the UK High Commissioner to Fiji to have the visit “postponed to a mutually convenient and more appropriate time.”

A spokesperson for the High Commission also told the ABC that it would just make sense for Harry and Meghan to visit Fiji at this time as they were in the neighbouring countries anyway. Also, their program would be “non-political and support bilateral relations” between the UK and Fiji.

Nevertheless, the couple are now in Fiji. And they appear to be basking in the warm welcome bestowed by the locals.

The Duchess, who is pregnant with their first child, had recently pulled out of some of her engagements on Fraser Island. She had a full schedule ahead of her with her husband, but the Kensington Palace announced that they were cutting back her schedule, purportedly to allow Meghan to rest.