BRITAIN'S PRINCE ANDREW TO VISIT FIJI

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 1, 1998 - AFP)---Queen Elizabeth II's second son, Prince Andrew, is to pay an official visit to Fiji this month.

The visit, scheduled for November 21-25, will be the first from the British royal family since the military coups of 1987, when the monarch was unceremonially dumped as head of state by coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka in October of that year following his second coup.

The move saw Fiji ousted as a member of the Commonwealth the following month and it was not re-admitted until October last year after adopting a new constitution granting racial equity to all its people.

Andrew's royal visit was confirmed to AFP by state officials Friday. No further details were available except that Fiji is entering into preparations to host the royal visitor.

Fiji has had a soft spot for the British royalty ever since the islands were ceded to the British monarch in 1874 by the country's high chiefs.

The last visit here by the British royalty was a brief stopover in Nadi by Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana following their tour of Australia.

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