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  1. ITV Report

Duke and Duchess of Sussex begin Fiji visit with traditional welcome ceremony and whale tooth gift

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Fiji for a three-day visit as part of their Pacific tour. Photo: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have begun their three-day visit in Fiji with a traditional welcome ceremony which included the presentation of a whale's tooth.

Their visit, part of their Pacific tour, was marked by an event at Albert Park known as the Veirqaraqaravi Vakavanua, embodying Fijian cultural identity and heritage.

It echoed an event attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during their Commonwealth tour in 1953.

In addition to the whale's tooth, a sign of wealth in Fiji, Prince Harry was also given kava, a drink made from a mashed plant root in the yaqona vakaturaga.

Rain began to fall again as the lovo, a presentation of food of a roast pig and a basket of dalo, a root vegetable like a potato, was offered to the duke.

He told the crowd: "Bula venaka! The duchess and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the next two days and celebrating the links and close friendship between Fiji and the United Kingdom."

He signed off "Venaka", or thank you, to cheers and laughter.

To close the ceremony, the couple watched a meke, a traditional dance with Harry leaning forward in his seat.

Dozens of people from the village of Nakelo took to the Albert Park turf to perform for the Duke and Duchess. The area is known for its strong links to the armed forces.

Thousands of locals turned out to see the royal couple who stood on the balcony of the Grand Pacific Hotel, in Suva, Fiji, to wave to the public.

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Meghan wore a dress by Australian label Zimmerman, a Stephen Jones hat, earrings which were a gift from the Queen and a bracelet which was a gift from the Prince of Wales.

Prince Harry and Meghan on the balcony of the Grand Pacific Hotel, in Suva, Fiji. Credit: PA
Meghan waits as Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, left, gestures as a red carpet is laid during the official welcome ceremony in Suva. Credit: PA
The Duke of Sussex inspects a guard of honour at the official welcome ceremony in Suva, on day one of the royal couple's visit to Fiji. Credit: PA
Performers at an official welcome ceremony at Albert Park in Suva, Fiji. Credit: PA