MEGHAN Markle appears to have committed a cultural faux pas on her royal tour with Prince Harry.
After touching down in Fiji on Monday, the royal couple were treated to a traditional welcome known as Veiqaraqaravi Vakavanua.
The Duchess of Sussex, 37, wore a gorgeous white midi dress by Australian label Zimmerman, with the Queen’s earrings and a bracelet she was gifted by her father-in-law Prince Charles.
But it’s her Stephen Jones hat which has caused the controversy.
During the welcome ceremony, the royals were seated on a stage – where Harry drank a bowl of kava, a mild narcotic made from the roots of a native Pacific Island plant.
The kava ceremony is a key part of welcoming guests in Fijian culture, and those present are asked not to wear hats as a sign of respect.
On the Fijian tourist website, travellers are advised: “Avoid wearing a hat in a village as it is considered an insult to the village chief.”
Although the couple’s welcome ceremony took place in Albert Park, in the city of Suva, the same cultural rules are thought to have applied.
This is because the chief of Viseisei, Fiji’s oldest village and centre of culture, was at the ceremony.
On Twitter, people questioned why Meghan was wearing a hat, after journalist Rebecca English explained “no-one is allowed to wear anything on their heads” at the ceremony.
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