‘Royal visit apolitical’

British High Commissioner Melanie Hopkins at her residence in Suva. Picture: TALEBULA KATE

THE royal tour to Fiji by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is apolitical, says British High Commissioner Melanie Hopkins.

Ms Hopkins made the revelation in an interview with this newspaper ahead of this month’s royal visit.

“The only thing we would say with the timing of the visit is that, this is a visit that is hosted by his Excellency, the President,” Ms Hopkins said.

“Just as it hosted its apolitical in that sense, just as it is in each of the other countries who are part of it all and the royal households also have a duty to use British taxpayers money wisely.

“And the visit is opposite time to the Invictus games in Sydney and the events in Fiji is being hosted by his Excellency, the President so in that sense the visit itself won’t get involved in political issues.”

Ms Hopkins said the tour would focus on Commonwealth themes such as “Youth leadership and Environmental challenges”.

“The visit would be a moment of celebrating the tremendous friendship between the people of the UK and Fiji and the special relationship between Fiji and the British Royal Family,” she said.

“The visit comes on a key moment when the UK is expanding its engagement in the Pacific including doubling our diplomatic network in the Pacific.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are scheduled to arrive in Suva on October 23.

This will be The Duke and Ducheess’s first joint visit to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.