Meghan Markle gives a nod to her Nigerian heritage at the Invictus Games

Before the Duchess of Sussex cheered on Team Nigeria at the Invictus Games, Prince Harry revived discussion of her Nigerian ancestry.

Nigeria has a new spot at the Invictus Games — and apparently, a new fan in the Duchess of Sussex. Having joined Prince Harry in Düsseldorf, Germany, for the sixth installment of the Invictus Games, Meghan Markle attended a sitting volleyball match between Nigeria and Ukraine and was seen proudly waving a Nigerian flag.

Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 - Day 5
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 14: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex look on during the Mixed Team Preliminary Round – Pool A Sitting Volleyball match between Team Nigeria and Team Ukraine during day five of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 on September 14, 2023 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images for Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023)

As reported by People magazine, Prince Harry teased his wife’s probable allegiance during the games’ opening ceremony. Welcoming athletes and attendees from 21 countries to the adaptive sports tournament he co-founded for military veterans and personnel, Harry referenced Meghan’s heritage during his opening speech as he predicted she’d be rooting for one of the games’ newest participants.

“Now, I’m not saying we play favorites in our home, but since my wife discovered she’s of Nigerian descent, it’s likely to get a little bit more competitive this year,” he said. 

As previously reported by theGrio, Meghan shared that a genealogy test had revealed she is 43% Nigerian during an October 2022 episode of her Webby Award-winning podcast, “Archetypes.” While hosting Nigerian-American comedian Ziwe Fumudoh, she said, “I’m going to start to dig deeper into all this because anybody that I’ve told, especially Nigerian women, are like, ‘What!’ ” 

With Nigeria joining Colombia and Israel to participate in this year’s Invictus Games, the duchess took the opportunity to enthusiastically cheer for the land of her forebearers. She and Prince Harry reportedly also found time to meet and pose for a photo with Team Nigeria, who gifted them with a plaque from the country’s Chief of Defense. They also granted Meghan a Nigerian nickname.

As first reported by royal-focused British outlet Hello!, Meghan was given the moniker “Amira Ngozi Lolo.” According to People, “Amira is the name of a warrior princess from a legend, while Ngozi means ‘blessed’ and Lolo means ‘royal wife.’”

Royal watchers also noticed that Meghan was without her famed three-stone engagement ring as she attended the games this week; People reports a loose setting is being repaired. Coincidentally, the ring was co-designed by Harry to evoke the couple’s ties to another African country, Botswana. After the two spent time together in the South African nation early in their relationship, Harry chose a cushion-cut center diamond sourced from the country to adorn Meghan’s ring, flanked by two stones that belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.

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