Royal visit itinerary unveiled

BY Anish Chand

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial in Suva and unveil a statue of SAS’ hero Talaiasi Labalaba in Nadi  as among their engagements while in Fiji for their two day official visit.

The royals are due to arrive in Fiji on Tuesday 23rd October.

They fly into Nausori Airport at 4:30pm and will travel by road to meet the President at Borron House at 5:30pm.

From there, Prince Harry and Megan travel to Albert Park for a traditional welcome ceremony scheduled for 6pm.

At 6:50pm, there will be a royal wave from the Grand Pacific Hotel.

The state will host a reception in their honour at 7.40pm which will be followed by state dinner at 8pm.

On Wednesday 24th October, the Royals start their day by laying wreaths at the National War Memorial in Suva.

At 9:45pm they will visit the University of the South Pacific’ main campus at Laucala Bay to officiate at the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme. This is an annual award given in recognition of leadership skills by young persons between the ages of 18 and 29. The award is open to selected Commonwealth of Nations to recognise exceptional people or organisations that are making a difference in improving other citizen’s lives. The programme was established by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society.

From the university, the Duke and Duchess will travel to the Colo-I-Suva Forest Park. Here they will unveil the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. The Canopy project was launched in 2015 when an appeal was made to all 53 Commonwealth nations to contribute areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

 The following day, on Thursday October 25th, the royals will arrive at Nadi International Airport at 11:10am to a traditional welcome ceremony before they will unveil a statue of Talaiasi Labalaba at the Airport. Labalaba was from Vatutu village in Nawaka in Nadi and was a member of the British Army’s elite SAS who died a hero in the Battle of Mirbat on 19 July 1972.

Following the commissioning of Labalaba’s statue, the Royals will officiate at the Presidents War Cross ceremony at Nadi airport before they depart for their next leg of the tour, to the Kingdom of Tonga at 12:30pm.