Editorial comment – Harry and Meghan Fiji visit: Lasting impressions

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive in Suva, Fiji, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS

THE Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to capture the imagination of the masses here in Fiji.

Although brief, their tour has actually inched out a wide cross-section of the population, who have tried their best to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

The people turned out in numbers at scheduled stops yesterday.

There was joy and laughter.

There was excitement and a sense of appreciation that you couldn’t shrug off yesterday.

Meghan Markle’s tour of the Suva Municipal Market was cut short, but not before she left an impression on the minds of the crowd that gathered well before time, to welcome her.

As her security detail escorted her back to her vehicle afterwards, it was clear the masses had turned out in numbers to be part of a historic occasion.

There may have been some curiosity, but there was no doubting the mood of celebration yesterday.

Hundreds of people converged on the Suva market to get a rare glimpse of royalty.

They spilled onto the new bridge along Stinson Parade. Market vendors welcomed the Duchess with songs and cheers.

It was clear the crowd was excited.

They were hyped up, and came dressed in their best outfits.

The women planned to wear their Fiji branded T-shirts.

They had prepared for some time for the visit.

For vendors like Satya Wati, it was a chance of a lifetime to meet royalty.

“She is so beautiful. I love how she smiled at everyone even though she was having a hard time trying to move around the market,” she said of the Duchess.

As the royal couple head to the West today for a special event at the Nadi International airport before departing the country, they will leave behind fond memories for many people.

Whatever we make of the whirlwind tour of our country by the royal couple, one thing stood out.

Thousands of people who were fortunate enough, did make it a memorable event, reigniting thoughts of a link established many decades ago in our history, and hopefully leaving an indelible impression on the couple.

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