Fijian soldiers celebrate Fiji's 50 years of independence with Prince Charles

Fijian soldiers celebrate Fiji's 50 years of independence with Prince Charles

By Semi Turaga
Sunday 11/10/2020
The Prince of Wales watched Fijian soldiers perform traditional dances and songs to mark Fiji's 50th anniversary as an independent country. [image: Prince Charles/Twitter]

The Prince of Wales today watched Fijian soldiers perform traditional dances and songs to mark Fiji's 50th anniversary as an independent country.

Five Fijian soldiers of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland visited The Duke of Rothesay, as Prince Charles is known in Scotland at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire.

Clarence House said the soldiers were dressed in traditional skirts and shirts and they performed the “Lakalaka” - a celebration of life.

The Herald Scotland reports Prince Charles was also presented with a whale's tooth also known as a Tabua by Sergeant Jonetaci Lawaci who was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in 2005 for his services in Iraq.

He also watched a virtual performance by Fijian soldiers at Fort George who danced to ‘Raude’.

They went on to sing five songs including ‘Red, White and Navy Blue’, a WW2 song of the Fijian Army supporting the British Army and ‘Isa Isa Vulagi Lasa Dina’, a traditional farewell song to treasure good times together.

Prince Charles last visited Fiji in 2005.

The Prince of Wales says throughout all these years Fiji and her people have held a special place in his heart and he had dearly hoped to be here this year to join in celebrating Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence.

In a video message to the Fijian people, Prince Charles says he is profoundly saddened that this dreadful global pandemic has prevented him from being in Fiji in person.

He says he is with the Fijian people in spirit.

Prince Charles says he recalls with immense fondness his visit to Suva in 1970 when he represented the Queen at Fiji’s independence ceremony.

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