Prince Harry and Meghan greeted by dancing troupe and school children as they arrive in Nigeria

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on a three day tour championing mental health for young people affected by conflict and also Harry's Invictus Games. ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports


Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, arrived in Nigeria to champion mental health for young people affected by conflicts and to promote the Invictus Games, founded by Harry to aid the rehabilitation of wounded and sick servicemembers and veterans.

The couple are visiting the West African nation for the first time on the invitation of its military.

On Friday morning, they visited the Lightway Academy college which receives support from their Archewell foundation to educate and train young girls affected by conflicts in Nigeria.

The couple were received at the Abuja school by a dancing troupe and a crowd of excited students and teachers.

They walked along a green carpet meeting school founder Oprah Adi, 75, and her daughter Joyce Agbese, who is the director of the 200-student school.

Inside, their first stop was in a kindergarten class where children aged 2-5 danced and sung songs for them.

Meghan Markle waves to children at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 10, 2024. Credit: AP

One little two year old girl stepped forward and tentatively shook hands with Meghan but then decided it was too much of step forward to shake Harry’s hand.

“We all get shy sometimes,” Meghan said.

Student Nnenna Okorie couldn’t hide her excitement at meeting the couple. “She is the prettiest human being ever,” said Okorie, a senior student at the school.

“I admire her so much and then Harry. I love how he is so supportive,” she said.

Harry and Meghan will also be meeting with wounded soldiers and their families in what Nigerian officials have said is a show of support to improve the morale of the soldiers, including those fighting a 14-year war against Islamic extremists in the country’s northeast.

The Prince founded the Invictus to aid the rehabilitation of wounded and sick servicemembers and veterans.

“This engagement with Invictus is giving us the opportunity for the recovery of our soldiers,” Abidemi Marquis, the director of sports at Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters, told reporters on Thursday.

Harry served in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter copilot gunner, after which he founded the Invictus Games in 2014 to offer wounded veterans and servicemembers the challenge of competing in sports events similar to the Paralympics.

Nigeria was among the nations that participated in last year’s edition of the games.

Prince Harry and Meghan meet children at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 10, 2024. Credit: AP

During their stay, Harry and Meghan will attend basketball and volleyball matches and will meet with local non-governmental organizations in Abuja and Lagos that are receiving support from them.

Meghan will also co-host an event on women in leadership with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, according to their spokesman Charlie Gipson.

The news of Meghan’s visit excited some in Nigeria where her life - and association with the British royal family — is closely followed. Meghan has also said in the past that she found out through a genealogy test that she was 43% Nigerian.

The Nigerian military has touted the Invictus Games as one which could help the recovery of thousands of its personnel who have been fighting the homegrown Boko Haram Islamic extremists and their factions since 2009 when they launched an insurgency.


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