Prince Charles watches Fijian soldiers perform dances on 50th anniversary of Fijian’s independence


I lakalaka what I see! A smiling Prince Charles watches Fijian soldiers perform dances in traditional dress to mark the 50th anniversary of the South Pacific country’s independence

  • Five Fijian soldiers performed a Lakalaka celebration at Birkhall on Saturday
  • Prince Charles watched the soldiers’ performance in traditional skirts and shirts 
  • The Prince of Wales was presented with a Tabua whale tooth by Sergeant Lawaci

The Prince of Wales watched Fijian soldiers perform traditional dances and songs to mark the 50th anniversary of the former crown colony becoming an independent country.

Five Fijians of The Black Watch, third Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland visited Prince Charles, at Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire on Saturday.

Dressed in traditional skirts and shirts, they performed the ‘Lakalaka’, a celebration of life which usually marks formal occasions, said Clarence House.

Charles was presented with a whale tooth known as a Tabua, a sacred Fijian cultural relic, by Sergeant Lawaci.

The Prince of Wales watched Fijian soldiers perform traditional dances and songs at Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to mark the 50th anniversary of the former crown colony becoming an independent country

Five fijians of The Black Watch, third Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland dressed in traditional skirts and shirts to perform the 'Lakalaka'

Five fijians of The Black Watch, third Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland dressed in traditional skirts and shirts to perform the ‘Lakalaka’

Charles was presented with a whale tooth, known as a Tabua, a sacred Fijian cultural relic, by Sergeant Lawaci

Charles was presented with a whale tooth, known as a Tabua, a sacred Fijian cultural relic, by Sergeant Lawaci

Seargeant Lawaci was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in 2005 for his services in Iraq.

Speaking at the event, Charles looked back on visiting Fiji in 1970 for the original independence ceremony.

He said: ‘I recall with immense fondness my visit to Suva in 1970 when I represented Her Majesty the Queen at Fiji’s independence ceremony.

‘I was so deeply touched by the warmth of the Fijian welcome – by the solemn traditional ceremonies, by the music, the dancing and the remarkable hospitality afforded to me.’

Charles speaks to the soldiers from a distance due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured from left: Sergeant Lawaci, Corporal Ratumaisese, Lance Corporal Vunibobo, Lance Corporal Gasaucalayawa and Private Vakadewabuka

Charles speaks to the soldiers from a distance due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured from left: Sergeant Lawaci, Corporal Ratumaisese, Lance Corporal Vunibobo, Lance Corporal Gasaucalayawa and Private Vakadewabuka

Seargeant Lawaci was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal in 2005 for his services in Iraq

Seargeant Lawaci was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in 2005 for his services in Iraq

The Prince of Wales also watched a recorded performance of Fijian Soldiers at Fort George, who were unable to attend, dancing the 'Raude'

The Prince of Wales also watched a recorded performance of Fijian Soldiers at Fort George, who were unable to attend, dancing the ‘Raude’

The Prince of Wales also watched a recorded performance of Fijian Soldiers at Fort George, who were unable to attend, dancing the ‘Raude’. 

The Raude is a fan dance which tells the story of an explorer on an expedition crossing the equator. 

The performance at Balmoral was held with social distancing in force due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Prince Charles is currently at Balmoral after the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh their trip short to travel to Sandringham last month.

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