The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, are gearing up for an impactful trip to Nigeria in May 2024. Their visit comes at the invitation of Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, the highest-ranking military official, indicating the significance of their presence in the country. 

Harry & Meghan Fostering Diplomatic Ties

Prince Harry will first journey to the UK to participate in various events related to the Invictus Games Foundation, celebrating its 10th anniversary. These events include a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on May 8. Following this, Meghan Markle will join him in Nigeria for their official visit.

Harry & Meghan
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle at the Ukraine-Nigeria sitting volleyball match. Invictus Games 2023. (c) Splashnews.

One of the primary purposes of their visit is to underscore the importance of the Invictus Games, an international multi-sporting event founded by Prince Harry. The games provide platforms for wounded, injured, and sick service personnel to showcase their resilience and determination. Last year’s event in Germany saw Nigeria, among other nations, making a significant impact, with gold and silver medals secured in its debut appearance.

During their stay in Nigeria, the royal couple will engage with service members and participate in various cultural activities. Their presence aims to strengthen Nigeria’s involvement in the Invictus Games. It will also pave the way for potential future editions of the event to be hosted in the country. 

Commitment to International Cooperation

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) expressed its honour and delight at the acceptance of the royal visit, highlighting Nigeria’s commitment to supporting the rehabilitation and recognition of its military personnel. Nigeria’s Minister of Defense, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Badaru, who attended last year’s Invictus Games, has expressed readiness to host future editions of the event, further cementing Nigeria’s position in the international arena. In a statement, Brig Gen Tukur Vusau, Acting Director of Defence Information in Nigeria, highlighted that… “The visit is to consolidate Nigeria’s stronghold at the game and the possibility of hosting the event in later years.”

Harry & Meghan
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle take selfies with fans as they attend the Ukraine-Nigeria sitting volleyball match at the Invictus Games on September 14, 2023 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (c) Getty Images.
Personal Connection and Warm Reception

Harry & Meghan’s connection to Nigeria was evident during the previous Invictus Games, where Harry joked about the competitive spirit in his household, particularly since Meghan discovered her Nigerian heritage through a genealogy test. The couple also spent time with Team Nigeria, receiving a warm reception and a new nickname for Meghan from the squad. The Duchess of Sussex was bestowed with the name “Amira Ngozi Lolo,” carrying significant royal connotations. “Amira” signifies a warrior princess from legend, while “Ngozi” translates to “blessed,” or “blessing” and “Lolo” denotes “royal wife.”

Commitment to Philanthropy

Beyond their visit’s focus on the Invictus Games, the Sussexes have shown a commitment to supporting various initiatives in Nigeria through their Archewell Foundation. Their contributions include aid to Save the Children Nigeria for flood relief efforts and partnering with the GEANCO Foundation to empower girls’ education and health in Nigeria.

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