An Invictus Games organiser has revealed that Meghan Markle ‘can’t wait to visit Nigeria with her mum and the kids’ after she was said to be cheering for the African team having discovered her heritage.
Recall the Duchess of Sussex was excited to meet a Nigerian Invictus Games athlete in Germany as she helped promote the event on Wednesday night, September 12.
Prince Harry revealed at the opening ceremony that his wife would be lending the athletes her personal support after finding through a genealogy test that she is 43% Nigerian.
Meghan was also pictured hugging a competitor and describing her as ‘my Nigerian sister’, before being introduced to other members of the team and the defence chief, who gave her the nickname Amira Ngozi Lolo, a name she could use if she ever visits the country.
Derek Cobbinah, who helped co-ordinate Nigeria’s debut in this year’s competition, told Hello! that the Duchess was ‘deeply touched’ by the nickname and that she is hoping to organise a family trip to the country.
‘She said she couldn’t wait to visit Nigeria with her mum and the kids,’ he revealed.
‘She’s always welcome to visit Nigeria and other African countries.’
The revelation of Meghan’s Nigerian heritage came on an episode of her Archetypes podcast after she did a genealogy test ‘a couple years ago’.
She vowed to ‘start to dig deeper into all this’ during her discussion with comedians Issa Rae and Ziwe Fumudoh.
It came as Meghan was given a rock star welcome at the Games in Dusseldorf yesterday as she made her first appearance at a sports event with Harry.
Crowds leapt to their feet to cheer and applaud her, who seemed taken aback by the rapturous welcome and took her seat in the Merkur Spiel-Arena.
Dressed casually in J Crew sweater and shorts and Chanel flat pumps, the 42-year-old mother-of-two beamed with delight and waved to the crowd and punched her hands in the air, hugging supporters of the Australian team seated in her row.
Harry, who has been happily posing for dozens of selfies with fans, took a back seat as most people in the crowd wanted to be photographed with Meghan.
Following her impromptu speech at a party for 1,600 people where she apologised for her late arrival at the competition on Tuesday, a buzz of excitement had spread around the event yesterday that she would be making her debut appearance.
Meghan bonded with Australian competitor Laura Reynell, 28, from New South Wales, who sat next to her as they talked about her beanie hat.
She said: ‘Meghan thought it was funny I was wearing the beanie and asked if I was cold. I told her I’m from Oz and always cold.’
Meghan dons white Ralph Lauren sweater vest alongside Harry
Sat next to husband Harry, she was otherwise surrounded by American fans and was frequently on her feet applauding.
Ms Reynell added that, Meghan spoke about her two young children in California.
She said: ‘She was so nice and was talking about her kids. She said the kids are excited about Invictus but they are a bit too young to understand.’
Reynell has been competing in the power lifting, archery and rowing. Harry was in animated conversation with Tavis Watt, 49, a psychologist for the Australian team.
After watching the match, Harry and Meghan joined in with a children’s relay race.
It was Sussex v Sussex as they chose opposing teams for the race around the basketball court.
Harry encouraged his team to win the sprint race, urging on the young competitors who are attending the games to cheer on family and friends.
Meghan clapped her hands enthusiastically as her group of youngsters raced.
The couple presented medals to all those taking part as Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ blasted out in the arena.