The Duke & Duchess of Sussex Conclude Nigerian Visit with Festive Lagos Reception and Cultural Engagements

On Sunday, May 12th, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, journeyed from Abuja to Lagos, marking the final day of their three-day Nigerian tour. Upon their arrival, they were greeted with a traditional dance performance at the airport, organized by the state governor, local dancers, and enthusiastic well-wishers.

Meghan, 42, adorned in a white Carolina Herrera button-down shirt paired with a traditional Nigerian skirt gifted during their Abuja visit, joined Prince Harry, 39, in applauding the dancers’ impressive human towers. Reflecting on her wardrobe, Meghan remarked on the vibrant Nigerian fashion, stating, “I very quickly got the memo that I need to wear more color, so I can fit in with all of you and your incredible fashion!” during her panel appearance with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, in Abuja on May 11.

Following their warm reception, the couple headed to a local school to participate in a basketball clinic with the non-profit organization Giants of Africa. This event echoed the warm reception King Charles and Princess Diana received at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos during their official visit in March 1990.

Prince Harry and Meghan were invited to Nigeria by General Christopher Gwabin Musa OFR, the country’s highest-ranking military official. Their Lagos itinerary included the basketball clinic, a cultural reception, and a polo fundraiser for Nigeria: Unconquered, a national charity dedicated to veterans that collaborates with the Invictus Games Foundation. This visit highlighted Prince Harry’s commitment to his adaptive sports tournament for wounded, injured, and sick service personnel and veterans, with Nigeria debuting at the latest competition in Düsseldorf, Germany, in September 2023.

This tour holds particular significance as Harry and Meghan’s first international visit since stepping down from royal duties in 2020. For Meghan, it was a journey of personal discovery, having revealed in her 2022 Archetypes podcast that she has Nigerian heritage, comprising 43% of her genealogy.

On their first day, during a visit to Lightway Academy in Abuja for the GEANCO Foundation’s inaugural mental health summit, Meghan addressed schoolchildren, expressing, “I see myself in all of you.” Later, at the Chief of Defense Staff headquarters, she left a heartfelt message hinting at her heritage, writing, “With gratitude for the support of the Invictus community. And for welcoming me home,” in her signature calligraphy. Prince Harry added, “She has beautiful handwriting,” a nod to Meghan’s previous work as a calligrapher. He also wrote, “Thank you for welcoming us to your beautiful country, together we will heal our troops.”

Throughout their visit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex engaged with service members and participated in cultural activities. Nigeria’s Defense Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Badaru, expressed interest in hosting the Invictus Games in the future. As a former British Armed Forces captain and the founding patron of the Invictus Games, Harry demonstrated his deep commitment to veterans, visiting the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Kaduna on May 10 to connect with fellow veterans.

At a reception for military families and the widows’ association at the Defense Headquarters Officers Mess in Abuja on May 11, Harry delivered a heartfelt speech, saying, “Your reception and energy have been nothing but remarkable,” expressing his and Meghan’s appreciation for the warm welcome and their commitment to supporting veterans and military families.

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