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Meghan Markle vs. Prince Harry! Duchess emerges victorious at polo match during final day of Nigeria trip

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex touched down in Lagos on Sunday for an action-packed day 

HELLO!
Senior Online Writer
Lifestyle Managing Editor
Updated: 12 May 2024
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle travelled from Abuja to Lagos on the third and final day of their trip to Nigeria, where the Duchess was sweetly wished a Happy Mother's Day. 

It was an action-packed day for the Sussexes, who headed to a basketball court at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School for a special game. Harry and Meghan were welcomed by ex-NBA star Masai Ujiri, Chairman and President of non-profit organisation Giants of Africa, which travels the continent to run children's basketball camps, building courts, and facilitate outreach initiatives. 

Britain's Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, and Britain's Prince Harry (L), Duke of Sussex, arrive at a charity polo game at the Ikoyi Polo Club in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as par© KOLA SULAIMON
Day Three of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's visit to Nigeria culminated in a fierce battle at the Lagos Polo Club

They then had a private meeting with Babjide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State, where they discussed the importance of their work with the Invictus Games in protecting veterans' mental health. 

The day culminated in a fierce battle between Harry and Meghan at the Lagos Polo Club, with the Duchess of Sussex's team emerging victorious.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Polo Club © Andrew Esiebo
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the prestigious Lagos Polo Club for a special reception in aid of Nigeria Unconquered

Polo wars - Harry v. Meghan 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the prestigious Lagos Polo Club for a special reception in aid of Nigeria Unconquered, where keen polo player Harry no doubt felt perfectly at home.

Following a pre-game parade including young children on foot waving Nigerian flags and older riders on horseback, the game was introduced – a friendly match of Duke vs Duchess teams. 

Team Duke faces team Duchess during charity polo game at the Ikoyi Polo Club in Lagos on May 12, 2024 © KOLA SULAIMON
Team Duke faced team Duchess during a charity polo game at the Ikoyi Polo Club... and lost

The couple, who didn't take part in the match themselves, took pride of place in the polo club's top tier to watch the game. They also met with supporters of the organisation helping veterans and wounded soldiers by challenging through adaptive sports.

The game ended 5-3 to the Duchess’s team, much to her delight! 

Meghan Markle in plunging dress next to Prince Harry © KOLA SULAIMON
Meghan looked gorgeous in a beige halterneck dress

Prince Harry surprised the crowds after a medal presentation by thanking everyone for their hospitality in an impromptu speech. 

Private meeting with the Governor of Lagos State

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Polo Club© Andrew Esiebo
Prince Harry surprised the crowds after a medal presentation by thanking everyone for their hospitality

On Sunday afternoon, following a quick change at a city centre hotel, the pair enjoyed a private meeting with Babjide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State.

Meghan looked gorgeous in a long yellow dress with a loose fit. The dress was the very same one worn for Prince Archie's first birthday party in 2020, which fans caught a glimpse of in the couple's Netflix documentary.

Britain's Meghan (L), Duchess of Sussex, and Britain's Prince Harry (R), Duke of Sussex arrive at the State Governor House in Lagos © Getty
The couple arriving at the State Governor House in Lagos

She wore her hair pinned up in a chignon and added circular gold pendant earrings and a choker necklace. Harry, meanwhile looked smart in a beige jacket, black tie and matching chinos.

The duchess added a beautiful shawl – a gift from the govenor's wife - worn diagonally across the garment. 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (L), and Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa (2ndL), welcome Britain's Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and  Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex© Getty
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa welcomed Harry and Meghan to the city

"For Prince Harry this has been a very interesting and very informative trip to the country," Sanwo-Olu said. "He has seen a lot and is still soaking in a whole lot. One of the things we are hoping he will take away, is he sees the diversity and the extent of how big our country is and how we continue to ensure that we live together in peace and harmony."

Sanwo-Olu praised Prince Harry's work with the Invictus Games and around mental health in general.

Britain's Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and  Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex, react as Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (unseen), gives a speech at the State Governor House in Lagos © Getty
The couple have received such a warm welcome

He said: “We are happy for what they are doing for military men and mental health issues and mental illness," adding that it is essential “people who require the support both in the military and private can seek the support. The denial, the stigmatization is one of the things that we talked about."

Basketball fun

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (3rdL), and Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa (3ndR), welcome Britain's Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and  Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex, as they arrive at the State Governor House in Lagos on May 12, 2024 © Getty
Sunday is the last day of the couple's trip

The couple enjoyed a sporty start to the day when they were welcomed on the basketball court at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School to enjoy a series of street-style dances. 

They appeared in great spirits, gasping and clapping as they watched an acrobatic performance that featured a young boy being thrown between two dancers and the impressive performers forming human towers. 

Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa (L), his wife Lilian Musa (2ndL), Lagos State Governor wife, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu (3rdL), Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (3ndR), Britain's Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex, © Getty/KOLA SULAIMON
The duchess added a beautiful shawl – a gift from the govenor's wife

Looking as stylish as ever, the royal mother-of-two donned a Caroline Herrera shirt over a traditional Nigerian skirt she had been presented as a gift. 

Meghan's special greeting

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Lagos airport for Official State Welcome© Getty/Andrew Esiebo
Earlier in the day, the royal mother-of-two donned a Caroline Herrera shirt over a traditional Nigerian skirt she had been presented as a gift

After taking in the performances, Harry and Meghan were welcomed by ex-NBA star Masai Ujiri, who is Chairman and President of non-profit organisation Giants of Africa, which travels the continent to run children's basketball camps, building courts, and facilitate outreach initiatives.

 Speaking as the duo unveiled a partnership between the charity and their Archewell Foundation, the former player addressed Meghan and mentioned his own wife as he said: "I want to wish you a Happy, Happy Mother's Day." 

The power of sport

Prince Harry could be seen rising from his seat and applauding the women as the former Toronto Raptors star spoke. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Giants of Africa at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School on May 12, 2024 © Getty/Andrew Esiebo
The couple enjoyed a sporty start to the day when they were welcomed on the basketball court at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School

Ujiri added the heartfelt sentiment: "It is sometimes hard for us to be away from our kids and family to make things like this happen. But to do so shows dedication. To come to something like this and delicate yourself we truly appreciate it so thank you again." 

He continued: "We are inspired by the youth and they will continue to be leaders and they will change Africa. Africa is already changing. We use sports to try to make some more change. It improves peace, it brings people together and brings incredible gatherings like this." 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Giants of Africa at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School on May 12, 2024 in Lagos, Nigeria. © Getty/Andrew Esiebo
Meghan and Harry watched from the sidelines as they cheered on competitors

He then revealed his disappointment at previously missing the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, saying: "It broke my heart that I couldn’t be there. Full circle now – I was supposed to meet Prince Harry then and now I meet him in Lagos, Nigeria. Yeah!" 

In response, the Prince put his arms out and called: "Seven years!" 

 Prince Harry, chants with children during the Giant of Africa Foundation at the Dream Big Basketball clinic in Lagos Nigeria, Sunday, May 12, 20© Alamy
The Duke of Sussex proved popular with the kids

Ujiri then said of Archewell: "Everything they do is the same thing we want to do in Giants of Africa – which is unite communities and uplift young children and give opportunity. Ours is to through sports. "Let's keep moving, let's keep growing, let's keep showing on this continent. We can do this," he added. 

Harry and Meghan's speeches 

Britain's Prince Harry (C), Duke of Sussex, takes part in a basketball exhibition training match at Ilupeju Grammar School in Lagos © Getty/KOLA SULAIMON
Prince Harry even had a go at shooting some hoops

Prince Harry then praised Giants of Africa as he made a speech, saying: "What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing. 

"Specifically with sport. The power of sport can change lives. It brings people together and creates community and there are no barriers which is the most important thing. It's wonderful to see each and every one of you here today, sitting on this court. I know you're ready to go. And we're going to get those balls going and you're going to show us how good you are." 

Meghan Markle holding hands with child during Giants of Africa at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School o© Getty/Andrew Esiebo
Meghan declined to play basketball herself, self-deprecatingly commenting: "Don't tempt me to try to do any basketball, my husband is the athletic one"

Meghan revealed that working on Suits in Toronto was the first time she heard about Giants of Africa, movingly saying: "Talk about full circle again – never did I think we would be able to be here all those years later supporting the expansion of this incredible organisation. We're so grateful and proud of all the work that you're doing." 

She declined to play basketball herself, self-deprecatingly commenting: "Don't tempt me to try to do any basketball, my husband is the athletic one." 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Giants of Africa at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School on May 12, 2024 © Getty/Andrew Esiebo
Prince Harry praised Giants of Africa as he made a speech, saying: "What you guys are doing here is truly amazing"

Harry then stepped onto the court and took part in some fun ball-bouncing drills before the couple moved around the court and spoke to some of the wheelchair basketball players. 

RELATED: Meghan Markle to miss Mother's Day with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet 

"You're better than I am," the Duchess told one young player, while she had a hug for Dennis Ogbe, 47, a Paralympian shot putter and discus thrower for Team USA.

LISTEN: All about Prince Harry's recent UK outing...

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