Prince Harry Travels Solo to Nigerian City of Kaduna and Receives Special Gift in Honor of Princess Diana

On the first day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s highly anticipated three-day visit to Nigeria, the Duke of Sussex embarked on a solo journey from the capital city of Abuja to Kaduna

Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 21:31:18 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 21:31:18

On the first day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s highly anticipated three-day visit to Nigeria, the Duke of Sussex embarked on a solo journey from the capital city of Abuja to Kaduna.

On Friday, May 10, Harry, 39, boarded a plane bound for Kaduna as part of his itinerary to engage with various dignitaries and organizations across the country.

Upon his arrival in Kaduna, Prince Harry received a red carpet welcome as he was greeted by Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, who sat with Harry outside the Governor's Office to watch the welcome ceremony, which included festive local dancers.

Inside he was introduced to local dignitaries as Governor Sani called Harry a “symbol of courage and “praised his service to his country." He added: “Please give our regards to the Duchess of Sussex, Princess Meghan."

Harry apologized, saying, “I’m sorry that I didn’t bring my wife." He clarified that she had separate engagements scheduled in Abuja.

“The focus here in Kaduna is the wounded, injured and sick men and women who serve in Nigerian forces and keep people safe," Harry continued.

The Duke of Sussex spoke of “lifting their spirits" during his and Meghan's visit.

"That’s what we’re here to do, and show everyone in the line of fire who has been injured that life is not over, that sport can be a great rehab," he said.

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

He was then asked to put on his next gift — a traditional outfit which he needed help getting over his head. With a slightly bemused look, he followed the suggestion that he put on a hula cap too. 

Following his meeting with the Governor, Prince Harry will visited a local military hospital in Kaduna, where he will meet with injured service members. 

As the founder of the Invictus Games, an international adaptive sports competition for wounded servicemen, women, and veterans, Prince Harry's visit to the military hospital will hold special significance. 

Earlier in the day, Harry and Meghan visited the Lightway Academy with the GEANCO Foundation in Abuja as their first stop of the Nigeria trip.

The couple visited the school with the GEANCO Foundation, which provides critical health care and education services across the country. There, Pri -

nce Harry and Meghan delivered inspiring welcome remarks at the inaugural mental health summit, urging young people to stay in tune with their mental health.

"We are honored to have our first visit to Nigeria be here with all of you. We believe in you, we believe in your teachers and we believe in your ability to continue to tell your stories and to just be honest with each other," Meghan said in part. "There is no need to suffer in silence."

The expansion of the charitable partnership between GEANCO and the Duke and Duchess' Archewell Foundation was also announced at Lightway Academy, where the Duchess of Sussex further revealed what their children, Prince Archie, 5, and Princess Lilibet, 2, are into lately!

Meghan mentioned that "singing and dancing" was her daughter's "favorite class," probably because of "all the jumping around," and added that her son liked construction, as pupils showed off their robotic projects in a STEM class. 

The couple received a traditional mask and series of books about Nigerian heritage (which the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she learned she had through a genealogy test on her Archetypes podcast in 2022), before moving to moving to visit the Chief of Defense staff headquarters. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex switched looks between events, changing into outfits of the colors of the white and green Nigerian flag. Meghan wore a white pantsuit from Altuzarra, while Harry sported a teal green suit.

Members of the royal family often pay homage to the countries they are visiting by dressing in national colors, informally known as "flag dressing."

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage?Sign up for our free Royals newsletterto get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were formally welcomed by Nigeria's Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa OFR, who invited the couple to visit the country. The visit follows Harry's trip to the U.K. earlier this week to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex touched down in Nigeria on Friday morning for their first official international tour since stepping back from their royal roles in 2020, and have a busy schedule ahead in the coming days.

Related Articles

Follow Us