AT first glance Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tour schedule looks like any other royal trip.
But upon closer inspection, the Duchess of Sussex’s role will be different from previous visits, with the actor taking on not one but two solo engagements during the couple’s visit to Fiji.
Meghan will attend a morning tea by herself celebrating women’s organisations at the British High Commissioner’s Residence.
The 37 year old will also venture solo to visit female stallholders at Suva market who are involved in UN Women program Markets for Change.
In another surprise move, both Meghan and Harry will give speeches during a visit to the University of the South Pacific.
According to a palace source, it’s hoped Meghan’s front and centre role at engagements in Fiji will inspire change in the island nation.
“Fiji asked the Duchess to do those events. There’s a movement in Fiji to encourage women to move away from the stereotypical roles of cooking and looking after children,” the palace insider told Hello! magazine.
Meghan’s engagements were decided upon by the host countries and took into account the former Suits star’s strengths and interests.
“She’s a very confident speaker. When the Duchess launched (Grenfell cookbook) Together she spoke confidently, and off the cuff. It’s only natural at some of the events she’s doing by herself that she would want to speak,” the source said.
Meghan’s more hands on role during the royal tour contrasts with Kate Middleton, who didn’t give her first public speech until almost a year after her marriage to Prince William.
The Duchess of Cambridge has admitted she finds public speaking “nerve-racking” and is rarely heard talking in public.
A proud feminist, in 2015 Meghan gave a speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York for the UN Women’s annual conference.
Tuesday October 16: Sydney, Australia
Wednesday October 17: Dubbo, Australia
Thursday October 18: Melbourne, Australia
Friday October 19: Sydney, Australia
Saturday October 20: Sydney, Australia
Sunday October 21: Sydney, Australia
Monday October 22: Fraser Island, Australia
Tuesday October 23: Suva, Fiji
Wednesday October 24: Suva, Fiji
Thursday October 25: Nadi, Fiji and Nuku’alofa, Tonga
Friday October 26: Nuku’alofa, Tonga and Sydney, Australia
Saturday October 27: Sydney, Australia
Sunday October 28: Wellington, New Zealand
Monday October 29: Wellington and Abel Tasman, New Zealand
Tuesday October 30: Auckland, New Zealand
Wednesday October 31: Rotorua, New Zealand