Meghan Markle “can’t wait to visit Nigeria for her mother and children”, an Invictus Games organizer has revealed, after she reportedly applauded the African team’s discovery of her heritage.
The Duchess of Sussex’s ties to the country appear to have strengthened considerably since the start of the Games, which champion injured and disabled veterans.
Prince Harry revealed during the opening ceremony that his wife would provide personal support to his athletes after discovering through a genealogy test that she is 43% Nigerian.
In the days that followed, she was seen hugging a competitor and describing her as “my Nigerian sister”, before being introduced to other team members and the defense chief , who gave her a nickname – Amira Ngozi Lolo – that she might use if she ever visits the country.
Amira is a warrior princess from legend, Ngozi means “blessed” and Lolo is “royal wife”.
Meghan wrote her autograph on Nigeria’s flag as she met delighted members of the country’s Invictus team.
Meghan greets Glory Essien, who will represent Nigeria at the Invictus Games
She smiled as she hugged the contestant and said, “You’re my Nigerian sister!”
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland is pictured in the Netflix documentary about her daughter and Prince Harry
Meghan and Harry were serenaded as a group, as a Nigerian man led them in a chant of “Gbosas,” which roughly translates to “congratulations.”
Derek Cobbinah, who helped coordinate Nigeria’s debut in this year’s competition, told Hello! that the Duchess was “deeply touched” by the nickname and that she hopes to organize a family trip to the countryside.
“She said she was looking forward to visiting Nigeria for her mother and children,” he revealed.
“She is always welcome in Nigeria and other African countries.”
The revelation of Meghan’s Nigerian heritage came on an episode of her Archetypes podcast after she took a genealogy test “a few years ago.”
She vowed to “start digging deeper into this” during her chat with comedians Issa Rae and Ziwe Fumudoh.
It came like Meghan received a rock star welcome at the Düsseldorf Games yesterday as she made her first appearance at a sporting event with Harry.
The crowd stood to cheer and applaud him. She seemed surprised by the enthusiastic reception and took her place in the Merkur Spiel-Arena.
Dressed casually in a J Crew sweater and shorts and Chanel flat pumps, the 42-year-old mother of two beamed with joy and greeted the crowd and clapped his hands in the air, hugging the Australian team fans sitting in his row.
Harry, who happily posed for dozens of selfies with his fans, remained in the background as most people in the crowd wanted to be photographed with Meghan.
Following her impromptu speech at a party in front of 1,600 people, during which she apologized for her late arrival to the competition on Tuesday, a buzz of excitement spread around the event yesterday at the idea that she would make her first appearance.
Meghan bonded with Australian contestant Laura Reynell, 28, from New South Wales, who sat next to her as they chatted about her beanie.
She said: “Meghan thought it was funny that I was wearing the beanie and asked me if I was cold. I told her I was from Oz and I was always cold.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wave during wheelchair basketball game
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf
Meghan Markle wears a star badge and cheers on Team USA on day four of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games
Sitting next to her husband Harry, she was also surrounded by American fans and frequently stood up to applaud.
Ms Reynell added that Meghan had spoken about her two young children back in California.
She said: “She was so nice and talked about her children. She said the kids were excited about Invictus but were a little too young to understand.
Reynell competed in powerlifting, archery and rowing. Harry was in animated conversation with Tavis Watt, 49, the Australian team psychologist.
After watching the match, Harry and Meghan took part in a children’s relay race.
It was Sussex versus Sussex as they chose the opposing teams to race around the basketball court.
Harry encouraged his team to win the sprint race, inviting young competitors attending the games to cheer on their family and friends.
Meghan cheered enthusiastically as her group of young people ran.
The couple presented medals to all participants while Queen’s “We Are The Champions” blared through the arena.