On day nine of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal tour, the Duchess experienced a slightly tense situation while visiting a market in the Fijian capital of Suva.
After a morning of engagements with the Duke of Sussex in tow, Meghan then stepped out solo. She headed off to visit female stall-holders at the Suva market, who have been involved with a UN Women’s project – a cause she supported long before becoming a royal.
But despite the plan for a 20-minute tour of the market, the Duchess was rushed out of the engagement after just six minutes by her security team.
Royal reporters in Fiji revealed that Kensington Palace told them her quick exit was because of a ‘security risk’, due to the huge amount of crowds who had turned out to see Meghan. In fact, many awaiting fans were stood on tables to catch a glimpse of the Duchess.
A royal aide also told Rebecca English for the Daily Mail that the market had become ‘uncomfortably busy’ – but that before leaving, Meghan did meet everyone she was supposed to.
They said, “It was hot, humid and uncomfortably busy and there were far larger crowds than expected.
“She met everyone she was meant to meet and left. There would have been a lot of people who would have been keen to meet her but she did met those who had hoped to.”
However, it seems that some women with stalls in the market were left disappointed, having been told they would meet Meghan, but eventually didn’t.
One told the Daily Mail, “It is such a shame as we were all very excited to meet her.
“We started preparing for the visit three weeks ago and had been meant to meet her but she left without even saying hello.”
It’s likely however that extra precaution was taken given that the Duchess is pregnant. And of course, her safety considered to be most important in these kind of situations.
Meghan was lead out after just a few minutes by her new female head of protection, who recently replaced Prince Harry’s former head of security Sergeant Bill Renshaw.
Earlier in the day, Meghan and Harry visited the University of the South Pacific, where the Duchess of Sussex gave an impassioned speech about girls access to education – her first official one since joining the royal family.
She revealed to the audience how she actually put herself through North Western University in Illinois, with a combination of a campus job and some help from uni programmes.
Meghan said, “It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes and work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition.”
Later on in the day, she also met with students and women at the British High Commission in Suva. She also enjoyed a tea whilst there – likely making for a welcome break from a busy schedule!