Meghan Markle was spotted whispering to one of her aids moments before she was rushed away from a market due to "security" and "crowd management" issues.
The Duchess of Sussex "looked concerned" before she entered the packed Suva Market on day nine of her Royal Tour, where huge crowds had gathered to see her.
She was due to spend about 15 minutes meeting female stall holders involved with the UN Women's project Markets for Change, but the visit was cut short and she was whisked away by her private protection officers after just eight.
Royal sources said this was due to a "security issue" due to the "much bigger crowds than anticipated" inside the market, making the event "uncomfortably busy" with "crowd management issues".
Minutes before she was rushed away from the area, just before she walked into the market, Meghan can be seen whispering to one of her aides.
One onlooker said Meghan appeared to "look concerned" before entering the market.
They said: "Before entering the market where there were scores of people all cheering and waving inside with their phones held up to record, Meghan leant over and whispered into the ear of one of her aides.
"When she got into the market she looked really disengaged, not her usual self at all.
"She stopped to speak to a pineapple seller on one of the stalls and had a very blank and disengaged look on her face, which is very unlike her.
"It was very hot and humid in there so perhaps it wasn't the best environment for a pregnant woman.
Andrew Parsons / i-Images
"After speaking for about a minute she broke off and spoke to the same aide again before she was whisked out of the market very soon after.
"There were a lot of people who were disappointed she didn't stay for longer but many were happy to just catch a glimpse of the Duchess and hope she was feeling okay."
Shobna Verma, 58, who sells eggs at the market and is the legal advisor to Suva Market Vendor’s Association, said: "The Duchess asked me if the programme really is making a difference and I told her there have been a lot of positive changes, but we are still waiting for more."
Meghan, who looked slightly flustered during the hurried walk-through the market, shook Mrs Salusalu’s hand, and said: "It's very good to meet you," before moving on.
Mrs Salusalu said: "She didn't really speak at all, like she was a bit afraid. She just said "Bula" and "Nice to meet you. But I'm happy to have met her.”"
People at the event said the crowds were well behaved, cheerful and seemingly posed no threat.
Meghan's female head of protection , who cannot be named for security reasons, was right next to her the entire time.
The blonde armed officer is tasked with overseeing the huge police operation to protect the newlyweds Down Under as they conduct 76 engagements in 16 days.
The stallholders at the United Nations project were said to be left feeling disappointed after failing to meet Meghan, who has been a vocal advocate for women’s issues in the past.
She has also worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as an Advocate and is also a vocal feminist.
It is understood that she likely to use her role as a member of the royal family to continue supporting women’s rights and social justice.
Meghan pulled out of a number of events at the weekend and on Monday, blaming tiredness as she is 14 weeks pregnant.
She skipped the morning’s events on Sunday at the Invictus Games road cycling competition in Sydney and missed the rainforest trek on Fraser Island on Monday over fears the track to the forest was too bumpy.
Kensington Palace aides have previously said of Meghan that “she is not sick, just resting after feeling tired” following a packed schedule of engagements last week and the jet lag from travelling from the UK.