Fiji holds her Majesty in the highest regard: President
October 24, 2018 4:34 am
We continue to hold her Majesty in the highest regard despite our nation having become a republic and are a very different nation today.
This was echoed by President Major General Retired Jioji Konrote while officiating at the state dinner held in the honor of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva last night.
The President says that while this may be the royal couple’s first visit to Fiji, the royal family has had the closest of ties with Fiji stretching back over six generations adding that they’re a valued part of our nation’s history.
”In 1874, the chiefs of Fiji ceded these islands personally to your great, great, great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Your great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, visited Fiji both as Duchess of York – the consort of the future King George the Sixth – and as Queen Mother. But it was with your grandmother – Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II – that the closest of ties were forged during the four visits she made here with your grandfather – the Duke of Edinburgh – in 1953, 1963, 1977 and 1982. Ninety-six years to the day after Fiji was ceded to Queen Victoria – October 10 1970 – your own father, Charles, Prince of Wales, stood in the park opposite us here and handed Fiji its Instruments of Independence.”
The President also commended Prince Harry for setting an example of service to the Commonwealth and the world through two tours of duty as a soldier in Afghanistan.
The Duke, Prince Harry highlighted how Fijian soldiers fought with the British Armed Forces during the First and Second World Wars and continue to serve alongside our soldiers to this day, with more than 1,250 Fijians currently serving.
”I must emphasize my respect, admiration and camaraderie with the Fijian soldiers that I served with in Afghanistan. We trained together, we fought together, and most importantly we laughed together.”
Prince Harry says he’s delighted the British Government is increasing its support for Fiji and the region.
He adds they’re also proud of the long-standing collaboration between the UK and Fiji on climate change; adding that the UK just hosted its own Talanoa on climate change across Great Britain earlier this month.