Did Meghan Markle cut a royal visit to Fiji short over 'snub' by UN?

Did Meghan Markle cut a royal visit short over ‘snub’ by UN? Duchess of Sussex may have slashed visit to feminist project in Fiji over incident with organisers years earlier

  • Aides blamed heat and crowds for then-pregnant duchess’ decision at the time 
  • Royal biographer Robert Lacey suggested could have been due to UN Women 
  • Lawyers denied she left because of organisation, and met leaders later on tour

The Duchess of Sussex may have cut short an official visit to a feminist project in Fiji due to a perceived snub by its organisers years earlier.

At the time, aides blamed the heat, humidity and crowds for the then-pregnant duchess’s decision to leave after just eight minutes, disappointing market vendors who had waited to meet her.

But royal biographer Robert Lacey has now suggested it could have been due to the involvement of UN Women, which hosted the event.

The Duchess of Sussex may have cut short an official visit to a feminist project in Fiji due to a perceived snub by its organisers years earlier

In 2015, before dating Prince Harry, Meghan gave a keynote address on gender equality for UN Women in New York. 

Then an actress in the US legal drama Suits, she received a standing ovation from guests including Ban Ki-moon, then UN secretary-general.

Mr Lacey writes in Battle of Brothers, his book about William and Harry: ‘[Meghan] had rubbed shoulders with the likes of Hillary Clinton… and might have hoped to join UN Women’s distinguished roster of goodwill ambassadors that included celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Emma Watson… but in those pre-Harry days UN Women only assigned the cable actress the lesser role of advocate.’

Suggesting that Meghan’s swift exit years later was down to what she’d seen as a snub, Mr Lacey quotes a Los Angeles screenwriter who told him: ‘Meghan does not cope well with what she perceives as rejection.

‘She’s nice and smiley as can be until you step in her way or don’t give her what she hopes for. Then she can be remorseless – heaven help you!’ 

Meghan was pregnant with son Archie when she and Harry embarked on a royal tour of Australia and Fiji in 2018.

At the time, aides blamed heat, humidity and crowds for the then-pregnant duchess’s decision to leave after just eight minutes, disappointing market vendors who waited to meet her

She was due to make a 20-minute visit to the market in Suva, the Fijian capital, to see the work of Markets for Change – a project run by UN Women.

At the time, an aide said of her early departure: ‘It was hot, humid and uncomfortably busy and there were far larger crowds than expected.’

However, a source told The Times that her decision to leave was down to UN Women – and that Meghan had only agreed to visit the market if there was no branding for the organisation. 

Lawyers for the duchess denied she had left because of the organisation, and said she met with other leaders from UN Women later in the tour.

Mr Lacey also played down reports that Prince Charles’s pursuit of a slimmed-down monarchy could see him block Archie and his sister Lilibet from becoming a prince and princess.

He told The Times that Charles’s priority as king ‘will be to gain popular support for upgrading the status of Camilla from princess consort to queen consort… he is not likely to court unpopularity by removing HRH status from Archie and Lili’.

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