Why are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's in Nigeria? All about the Duke and Duchess Trip

Why are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Nigeria? All about the Duke and Duchess Trip

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Marking their first international tour since stepping back from royal duties in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embarked on a three-day visit to Nigeria. This visit not only highlighted their ongoing commitment to charitable causes but also resonated on a personal level, particularly for Meghan, had also said in the past that she found out through a genealogy test that she was 43% Nigerian.

The trip, a multifaceted event that blended diplomatic engagements, personal discovery, and advocacy for wounded veterans. As they continue to forge their path independent of the British royal family, their visit to Nigeria exemplify how they intend to influence and contribute to global humanitarian efforts, all while honoring their personal connections and heritage.

Day 1: Mental Health Education & Invictus Games

Harry and Meghan began their visit on May 10, 2024, with a series of engagements that underscored their dedication to service and community support. Their first stop was at Lightway Academy in Abuja, where they interacted with students and faculty were they were greeted with wild cheers, song and dance as they visited a school to talk about mental health. During their visit Meghan and Harry  announced a new partnership between their Archewell Foundation and the GEANCO Foundation. Together, Archewell and GEANCO will provide mental health resources and training to young women and men.

Last year, the couple’s Archewell Foundation announced the donation of school supplies and menstrual products to young women in Nigeria in partnership with the GEANCO Foundation. The foundation’s David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship provides full tuition, medical care, and social and emotional support to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria.

“We are honored to have our first visit to Nigeria be here with all of you. We believe in you, we believe in your teachers, and we believe in your ability to continue to tell your stories and to just be honest with each other,” Meghan said. “There is no need to suffer in silence.”

They proceeded to visit injured service members at the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna. Here, Prince Harry, a former captain in the British Armed Forces, demonstrated his deep empathy for veterans. He engaged with wounded soldiers, offering words of encouragement and support, a moment that highlighted the personal connections at the heart of the visit.

This visit was part of the celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women, founded by Prince Harry in 2014

Day 2: Cultural Celebrations and Advocacy

On May 11, the Sussexes’ schedule was filled with significant events. Meghan co-hosted a “Women in Leadership” event with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, emphasizing the importance of female leadership on a global scale.

The day also included a visit to Nigeria: Unconquered, a charity that aligns with the Invictus Games’ mission. Here, they observed a training session, further highlighting the therapeutic role of sports in recovery.

While in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Harry and Meghan watched a sitting volleyball match. Harry was then invited to join the team on the court for a game.

The day was capped off with a glamorous reception where the couple, dressed in coordinated linen outfits, engaged with military families and participated in the unveiling of a new rehabilitation center. 

This event not only showcased their commitment to the military community but also their ability to bring attention to critical issues through their public appearances.

According to People, Harry was gifted two paintings—one that featured him alongside his late mother Princess Diana and another that showed him and his wife, Meghan. He was also given a traditional outfit and a hula cap.

Day 3: Deepening Cultural Ties and Future Collaborations

The final day of their visit, May 12, Harry and Meghan will be in Lagos, where they will met with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Broader Implications for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Throughout their visit, the personal connections and broader implications of their engagements were evident. Meghan disclosed Nigerian ancestry added a layer of personal discovery to the visit. During last year’s Invictus Games, Meghan spent time bonding with the Nigerian team, who gave her a Nigerian name Amira Ngozi Lolo.

This aspect of her identity, which she shared publicly on her podcast, “Archetypes,” in 2022, brought a unique dimension to the couple’s interactions in the country.

Moreover, the visit highlighted the growing role of Nigeria in the Invictus Games community. With Nigeria’s recent debut at the Games and discussions about the country potentially hosting future editions, the visit from the Duke and Duchess could be seen as a stepping stone towards more significant involvement.

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