The pregnant Duchess of Sussex’s visit to a market in Fiji’s capital Suva has been cut short due to a “security risk”, with Kensington Palace blaming excessive crowds.
Meghan Markle was to spend 15 minutes speaking with vendors at the Suva Municipal Market on Wednesday to learn about a UN Women’s project that promotes female empowerment.
But the Duchess, flanked by security personnel, ended up spending just six minutes at the market before an abrupt departure.
Meghan chatted with one vendor before she was whisked through the market by a Fijian security official and her female head of protection, News Corp reported.
The Duchess, who is four months pregnant, gave an apologetic wave to her fans as she was escorted out of the market.
The Sussexes have been greeted by huge crowds everywhere they have gone in Fiji since arriving on Tuesday afternoon (ADST). It mirrors the rapturous reception the couple received on the Australian leg of their first tour together.
Meghan was really rushed through #Suva market and spent less than ten minutes there. The palace said she did meet the women she was meant to, but there were lots of disappointed Fijian’s who said it was too fast and the security too tight pic.twitter.com/Bqmd9mkgbm
— Rhiannon Mills (@SkyRhiannon) October 24, 2018
In Suva on Wednesday, thousands of Fijians had waited on the streets outside the market all day, hoping to catch a glimpse of the duchess. Some had reportedly even climbed onto roofs of buildings.
Earlier, one young fan got especially up close and personal with Meghan when she and husband Prince Harry arrived at Fiji’s University of the South Pacific. The young girl was snapped wrapping her arms around the Duchess – with Meghan in no rush to move her away.
Meghan was in a $2200 pink Figue dress with a blue and white floral pattern, embracing the colours of tropical Fiji, for the university visit. She wore black and beige platform heels with a matching clutch, and had tropical flowers in her hair, which was tied back.
Prince Harry was also casual, in a floral-patterned blue short-sleeve shirt, chinos and brown boots.
His wife gave her first speech of the royal tour at the university. In it, she hailed the the vital importance of education for women and girls in developing countries as a way to ensure their economic and social success.
“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive,” she said.
“For women and girls in developing countries, this is vital. Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development.”
Earlier, in his first engagement of the day, the Duke of Sussex laid a wreath of poppies at a solemn ceremony in honour of Fijian war veterans.
Prince Harry was without Meghan at the ceremony, at which he spoke with veterans, including some who had served with the British armed forces.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 23, 2018
On Tuesday, after their arrival in Fiji, Harry and Meghan attended a state banquet in their honour. Meghan wore a gown by British label Safiyaa for the occasion in a shade of blue to match the Fijian flag, while her husband was dapper in black tie.
The Sussexes will next visit Tonga before returning to Australia on Friday.