Royal Visit: Royal mat

Wati Savea Vailawa of Valelevu expresses her delight after she weaved a British flag on the mat for the welcome ceremony at Albert Park today. Picture: RAMA

WATI Sovea Veilawa spent three sleepless nights weaving the intricate designs on a traditional pandanus mat that will be used by the Royal couple — the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and his expectant wife Megan Markle on their first visit to Fiji.

The couple will be welcomed at Albert Park in Suva this afternoon and adorning their royal stage will be Ms Veilawa’s creation.

The mother of six from Kabara, Lau, was approached by a cousin to create the traditional mat which has become second nature for her after years of practice.

“It took me three days to get the job done at my home in Naveiwakau, Valelevu with the help of my cousin. At the same time we were talking about how blessed we were to be part of the royal visit and it will be an opportunity for the world to see my hand artwork. I know this is a blessing from God, out of all the women out there I was chosen to do it,” Ms Veilawa said with tears in her eyes.

She said her work would go down in history and it was her family’s legacy. “Even though I won’t be there to see the royal couple in person I am happy that a part of me is with them on their visit to Fiji,” Ms Veilawa added.

 

The British flag which was weaved by Wati Savea Vailawa of Valelevu for the welcome ceremony of Royal couple at Albert Park today. Picture: RAMA

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