22 Oct 2018

Fiji govt stresses royal visit 'apolitical'

11:26 am on 22 October 2018

Fiji's government has stressed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex' visit to Fiji is apolitical.

The Duchess is due in Spring 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Photo: Twitter / Kensington Palace

Prince Harry and Meghan arrive in Fiji tomorrow, just three weeks out from the general election.

Concern has been raised the couple's visit could be used politically in the run up to the polls.

But the government says the visit was organised long before the election date was fixed and is hosted by Fiji's head of state, the president.

It says assurances were sought and given that if the visit went ahead before the election it would be non-political.

The government says the leader of the opposition will join the president and prime minister in greeting and farewelling the royal party.

She'll also be seated with them at the head table at a state dinner to which all leaders of political parties have been invited.

Fiji govt says no restriction on journos covering royal visit

Meanwhile, Fiji's government said no restriction had been placed on any journalist covering this week's visit.

There had been reports that local journalists were to be "cordoned off at a distance" from all the royal engagements.

But the government said because of the large contingent of international media covering the trip, there will be pooled coverage, "as is the norm with any major international event".

It said the events will also be covered by teams from the Fijian Department of Information and that material will be shared with all international and local media.