Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her bodyguard at the market in Suva, Fiji. Picture: Ian Vogler/Pool/Getty Images
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her bodyguard at the market in Suva, Fiji. Picture: Ian Vogler/Pool/Getty Images

Ex-bodyguard spills on royal tour ‘disaster’

PRINCESS Diana's former bodyguard has said that Meghan Markle's visit to a Fijian market yesterday was "always going to be a bit of a diaster".

The Duchess of Sussex had only been in the crowded Suva Municipal Market for six minutes when she was dramatically whisked away by her female bodyguard, leaving thousands of locals disappointed. Kensington Palace later claimed Meghan's sudden exit was due to a "security risk".

Ken Wharfe, who worked as Diana's personal protection office for five years, gave Today show viewers an insight into what went wrong during an interview with Georgie Gardner this morning.

"With an event like that where it's almost unpredictable given that the indigenous folk there wanted their piece of Mrs Meghan Markle … there should have been a defined route, an agreed route with some escape facility," he said. "Without that, confusion and chaos reigns."

Meghan had only met a handful of people inside the market before the event was called off and she was rushed to a waiting car.

"She didn't really speak at all, like she was a bit afraid," a local who met Meghan inside the market told The Sun.

Mr Wharfe said on Today, "For me it was always going to be a bit of a diaster.

"It seems … part of the reconnaissance was found to be wanting in this … It seemed to me to be slight chaos and confusion within her protection team."

Both Meghan and her bodyguard were visibly flustered as they tried to make their way through the huge crowd to the safety of a waiting car.

"When people like that gather in such a confined space, there is a taste of chaos and that upset the Duchess and it clearly upset her protection officer who was clearly nervous at the prospect of, 'What am I going to do next?'" Mr Wharfe said.

 

Meghan, just like Kate Middleton, has a female protection officer.
Meghan, just like Kate Middleton, has a female protection officer.

 

The former personal protection officer who stopped working for Diana in 1993, also criticised the fact locals were allowed to gather around Meghan's vehicle, holding up the royal's exit while they took selfies.

"For the future, I think a guarded way through whatever crowd exists has to be part of the planning process," he said.

"You have to forecast and predict what might happen when things go wrong and when dealing with that sort of crowd in that sort of location, you have to have a point of arrival and a point of departure and it has to be penned out."

Harry and Meghan will today fly from Suva to Nadi and later will head to Tonga as their royal tour continues.