Breaking protocols – The humble prince

The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry kneels down whilst having a conversation with 86-year-old Litia Vulaca. Picture: DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION

WHEN the Royal Couple the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived into the country they captured the heart of many Fijians.

Their charming personality and beautiful spirit was the talk of the town.

For Prince Harry the sixth in line to the English throne, the way he handled himself brought back memories of his mother the late Princess Diana who captured the eyes and hearts of a nation and was known as the people’s princess.

And just like the Princess of Wales, Prince Harry has been known as the fun and charming prince who has broken many royal protocols and in the process rewriting the rule book.

From poking tongue while as a kid to being sent to rehab after admitting to smoking marijuana at the age of 17, some overseas media have tagged him as the renegade prince.

Two days in Fiji and I can sum up amongst other activities his highness has been engaged in, Prince Harry is a resemblance of the late Princess Diana.

It is his ability to converse and mingle with the crowd.

And then along came Meghan Markle dubbed as his perfect partner-in-crime.

From their dating days until now the couple has broken several royal protocols and continue to do so even on their first royal tour including taking selfies.

Royals are never seen to be holding hands in public; well they have not done that once but several times.

Overseas media reports the royals have strict rules about behaviour during engagements and there are certain things they simply aren’t meant to do – including hugging people.

When Prince Harry hugged woodcarver Sevuloni Muritovo at the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park that was not the first time he has given a hug, in fact for the couple they have given hugs to several fans ever since arriving into Australia last week and also in Fiji.

At the Colo-i-Suva Forest before unveiling the plaque and dedicating the Forest reserve as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, the soon father-to-be prince humbled himself before youth of Colo-i-Suva Village asking questions of how mats are made, even to the extent of pounding the yaqona himself, much to the laughter of everyone gathered at the forest reserve park.

After spending more than 10 minutes with the youths Prince Harry proceeded to meet 86-year-old Litiana Vulaca.

What was probably one of my most emotional experiences as a journalist of over 10 years, was seeing the son of the Prince and late Princess of Wales, the Duke of Sussex and sixth in line to the English throne go down on his knees after shaking hands with the Kalabu woman.

“He told me that he had heard that I served tea to his grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen. And then he knelt down and said that he was honoured to meet me,” she told this newspaper after their meeting.

“I was lost for words, who am I a commoner, to have a man of nobility from the royal family to kneel down in front of me, this is such an emotional experience,” she added with a stuttering voice.

Ms Vulaca spent her entire life working and serving Frances Charlton the former Adi Cakobau School Principal. It was in 1953, when Mrs Charlton requested that Ms Vulaca serve tea to the Queen during her first Royal visit to Fiji. She was only 21-years-old and for the past 65 years Ms Vulaca has dreamt of meeting another member of the royal family.

“This is truly a humbling experience and one I will never forget, I will leave this world knowing I have achieved all that I had wanted to achieve,” she said with watery eyes.

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