Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Digital Cover royalty

Prince Harry receives emotional gift as Meghan Markle gives update on Archie and Lilibet on day one of Nigeria trip - best photos

The couple began their three-day trip to Nigeria on Friday

TV and film writer
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: 10 May 2024
Share this:

Prince Harry received an emotional gift on Friday May 9 as he made a solo trip during the visit to Nigeria with wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

As he visited the Governor of Kaduna state, Senator Uba Sani, Harry was welcomed by dancers and a red carpet that led to the seats at the top of the steps of the governor’s office and assembly. Senator Sani praised Harry as a “symbol of courage and “praised his service to his country.” He added: "Please give our regards to the Duchess of Sussex, Princess Meghan."

Before he left, Harry was given two paintings — one of him and his late mother Princess Diana, and another of him and wife Meghan. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meet with the Chief of Defence Staff of Nigeria at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on May 10, 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria© Andrew Esiebo
Prince Harry meets with the Chief of Defence Staff of Nigeria at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on May 10, 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria

Prince Harry meets wounded soldiers

Harry later visited Reference Hospital Kaduna which is Nigeria’s version of America's Walter Reed hospital — the first place service members are brought post-injury. Harry toured six wards, meeting several young men recuperating from their injuries; many had been shot, ambushed by Boko Haram or lost limbs due to blasts. 

“You are going to get better, get back on your feet,” he told the first ward, meeting Corp Yusef, 23, who had been shot through the knee.

Duke of Sussex greet students as he arrives at the Lightway Academy in Abuja on May 10, 2024© SODIQ ADELAKUN
Duke of Sussex greet students as he arrives at the Lightway Academy in Abuja on May 10, 2024

“Are you going to try for the Invictus Games team? Are you preparing for that? Don’t disappoint us," Harry joked before adding: “We will see you there.”

Harry later told Corporal Iziogo Onyema, 31, who had had his right arm reset after a gunshot: "You do get better, I promise."

Meghan shares rare details of Archie and Lilibet

Earlier in the day Meghan shared sweet updates about Prince Archie and Princess Lilibetas she and Prince Harry kicked off their three-day tour of Nigeria with a visit to a local school, supported by their Archewell Foundation. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were all smiles as they received a warm welcome at Lightway Academy in Abuja, with the couple taking time to chat with students and receiving beaded necklaces as gifts.

Harry and Meghan welcomed to Nigerian school© Alamy
Harry and Meghan were given quite the welcome

As they stopped at a kindergarten class, where children aged two to five danced and sung songs for them, Harry asked them: "Is singing and dancing your favourite class?"

"That’s Lili's favorite class," Meghan said of their two-year-old daughter. "Maybe it's all the jumping around."

Harry and Meghan meeting students at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria© Alamy
Harry and Meghan meeting students at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria

Prince Archie enjoys 'construction'

The Sussexes were then taken to a STEM class where a group of youngsters showed the robot cars they’d created, with one proudly saying his was called M-Bot. 

As Harry asked the class whether they enjoyed electronics, Meghan revealed that their son Archie liked construction. 

Harry and Meghan visiting a kindergarten class© Getty
Harry and Meghan chatted with kindergarteners

During their time at the school, Harry and Meghan helped to launch an inaugural mental health summit run by local non-profit, GEANCO, which the couple's Archewell Foundation is linked with. 

Prince Harry praises mental health awareness

The Duke spoke of the importance of opening up about your mental health, telling the youngsters: "The more you talk about it, the more you can kick stigma away, fall far away into long grass, and then everybody will have the opportunity to be able to share how they're feeling, how they're coping, and then you can help other people. 

Meghan talking to students© Alamy
Meghan looked chic in a tonal ensemble

"So will you promise to us that after today, no more being scared, no more being unsure of mental health. If you are unsure, then ask. Ask your teachers. Ask your friends. Be there for one another. If you see your friend in your class not smiling, what are you gonna do? You gonna check in with them? Are you gonna ask him if they're okay? Because it's okay not to be okay."

Meghan then told the class: "We all have our story. And there's no shame in any single one of your stories. Even on the hardest days or darkest days, everything is a pillar of your strength by each of you being there.  Your teachers see that in you. And we see that in you."

Harry and Meghan hold hands as they arrive at school in Nigeria© Getty
A sweet moment captured between the couple

Lili calls Meghan 'mama'

She added of her daughter:  "And interestingly, so our daughter, Lili, she's much, much tinier than you guys. She's about to turn three. And a few weeks ago she looked at me and she would just see the reflection in my eyes. And she said 'Mama, I see me in you'. Oh, now she was talking really, literally. But I hung onto those words in a very different way. And I thought, yes, I do see me and you, and you see me and you, but as I look around this room, I see myself in all of you as well."

For her first engagement of the trip, Meghan looked chic in a tonal tiered dress, accessorising with metallic jewellery and her brunette locks pulled back in a braided ponytail. Meanwhile Harry sported a matching stone-coloured shirt and linen trousers. 

The couple have not been joined by their children, Prince Archie, who turned five on Monday, and Princess Lilibet, who turns three in June. Find out why on the latest episode of HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast...

LISTEN: Why Archie and Lilibet have not joined Harry and Meghan in Nigeria

This Sunday marks Mother's Day in the US, with Meghan likely to miss out on the occasion with her children, given the length of their Nigeria visit. 

The three-day trip marks Harry and Meghan's first official visit to Nigeria. It comes after the Duke met Nigeria’s chief of defence staff in Germany last September at the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf.

Formal welcome

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were officially welcomed to Nigeria by Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa during a meeting at the Defence Headquarters in the heart of Abuja.

Harry heaped praise on the country for adopting sport as part of rehabilitation, saying: "You’re not the first country to notice that it not only transforms lives but saves lives. I'm eternally grateful to you all of you for joining the Invictus movement for Nigeria and for every single soul who’s been injured protecting the freedoms of Nigeria."

Harry and Meghan visit army wives at the Defence headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria© Alamy
Harry and Meghan met visit army wives at the Defence headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria

Speaking about the Nigerian Invictus Games squad, the Duke added: "The team that turned up in Düsseldorf was small but mighty. They danced their way into the stage. They won medals and danced off the stage. They were the life and soul of those games. Our goal now is to help you grow that team and provide as much opportunity and resource here in Nigeria and for the games that are coming at the beginning of next year. 

Prince Harry and Meghan met with the Chief of Defence Staff of Nigeria at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja© Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan met with the Chief of Defence Staff of Nigeria at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja

"And I know there’s been an expression of interest for Nigeria to perhaps host the games in 2029."

Before departing, Harry and Meghan signed the visitors book, with the Duke remarking on his wife's "beautiful handwriting". 

Meghan Markle wearing white suit at defence headquarters in Nigeria© Alamy
Meghan changed into a white suit to visit the defence headquarters

The Duchess, who had changed into a all-white pantsuit, chatted with some of the army wives at the Defence Headquarters.  Adenike Keennam, whose husband is in the airforce, said: "I told [Meghan] 'Welcome home'. She gave me a big smile." 

She added of the couple: "I think it's significant they’re here in many ways. With people like them who you see on TV or in the papers, to see them in person goes a long way. They are people of peace."

The couple have flown to Nigeria with their good friend and photographer Misan Harriman© Getty
The couple have flown to Nigeria with their good friend and photographer Misan Harriman

Reunited in London

Harry and Meghan were reunited at Heathrow Airport in London on Thursday, when the Duchess of Sussex took a solo flight from Los Angeles to meet her husband at the airport's VIP Windsor Suite. 

The couple subsequently boarded a British Airways flight to Abuja, where they later arrived on the invitation of the chief of defence staff. 

The Duchess said during her first day of engagements that she was happy to be 'home'© Getty
The Duchess said during her first day of engagements that she was happy to be 'home'

Meghan wore black trousers and a brown jacket for the journey, while her husband donned a black jacket and trousers. They're thought to be staying at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja during their trip. 

Harry and Meghan's first stop will be at a school before the Duke meets injured service members at a military hospital in the afternoon. They'll also attend a training session for charity organisation Nigeria: Unconquered, which collaborates with the Invictus Games, as well as a reception where military families will be honoured.

meghan markle clapping© Getty Images
Meghan and Harry at the Invictus Games last year

Meghan is also set to co-host an event of Women in Leadership with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

On Sunday, the last day of their visit, the pair will attend a basketball camp with Giants of Africa, a cultural reception and a polo fundraiser for Nigeria: Unconquered.

The trip marks Meghan and Harry's first visit to Nigeria as a couple. The country holds a special place for them both, with Meghan having spent time with the Nigerian team at the Invictus Games last year and was even bestowed her own Nigerian name Amira Ngozi Lolo. 

Meghan Markle in a tan dress© Robin L Marshall
Meghan has her own Nigerian name - Amira Ngozi Lolo

While "Amira" translates as warrior princess from a legend, "Ngozi" means blessed and "Lolo" symbolises royal wife. 

Bobby Ojeh, the leader of the Nigerian team, told HELLO! last year: "She has the sentimental attachment to Nigeria, so it dawned on us as a team to say why don't we just give Meghan a name.

"She's wonderful, she's just wonderful. The way she embraced [her Nigerian heritage] meant a lot to us as Nigerians and this is the message we take back to Nigeria." 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking down steps in Cape Town© Pool
Prince Harry and Meghan's Nigeria visit will mark their first as a couple

Harry and Meghan's Nigeria visit comes after the Duke marked the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games at St Paul's Cathedral in London on Wednesday, where he was joined by various guests including close relatives of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. 

WATCH: Prince Harry hugs Princess Diana's siblings as he arrives at St Paul's Cathedral for Invictus Games service

The service at St Paul's began as King Charles met guests at the first Buckingham Palace garden party of 2024.

The father and son didn't meet during Harry's brief UK visit due to the King's "full programme", according to the Duke's spokesperson. 


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

If you are reading this, the chances are you are obsessed with all things royalty – which is just as well because so are we! So obsessed, in fact, we’ve launched a club solely dedicated to covering them. So welcome to The HELLO! Royal Club. We would love you to join us there…

What is it?

Interactive community offering behind-the-scenes access, exclusive royal interviews, unmissable royal insights, and an illustrious royal Inner Circle.

Member benefits

  • Two weekly newsletters, one from Emily Nash
  • Video posts and audio notes from Emily Nash and the HELLO! Royal team
  • Access to our royal community and opportunity to interact with club writers and members
  • Participate in polls, comments and discussion threads
  • Royal-themed puzzles with a weekly prize to be won
  • Access to our Ask Me Anything sessions with our journalists
  • Invitations to in-person and virtual events
  • A subscription to the digital edition of HELLO! Magazine (Worth £82 annually)*
  • Future ‘Inner Circle’ benefits

By royal decree

You are royally invited to join The HELLO! Royal Club – and then to go forth and spread the word to your fellow royal fans. See you in the club!

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.