Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Meghan Markle Says Prince Harry Loves Volleyball in Nigeria

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KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were caught up in the spirit of the Invictus Games during their second day in Nigeria, with Harry being so enamored by a volleyball exhibition that he joined in on the fun.

Harry, 39, and Markle, 42, were invited to watch a training session for the game of sitting volleyball put on by Nigeria: Unconquered, a charity affiliated with the competition for wounded soldiers that Harry began in 2014. The royal couple were at the session at the invitation of the country’s Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Muse.

They arrived at the event at the Defense Headquarters Officers’ Mess in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja and were gifted green-and-white scarves to represent the Nigerian flag. After Markle and Harry watched Nigeria’s competitors practice, Harry was invited to join in and play against the Nigerian athletes. The exhibition was split into two groups: Team CDS and Team Harry, with the crowd cheering on the Duke of Sussex.

Markle revealed that Harry has long-loved the American-born sport, telling a 9-year-old girl in attendance that the prince is “very good” on the court.

See the Best Photos From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 1st Official Tour in Nigeria

Related: See the Best Photos From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Nigeria Tour

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle jetted off to Nigeria for their first official visit to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games. Harry, 39, cofounded the Invictus Games to honor injured military veterans. (The duke previously served in the British Army for 10 years.) To celebrate the milestone anniversary of the organization, Harry and […]

“She said Prince Harry loves to play volleyball and that he’s very good at it,” Tiwa Akanbi told People. “And she asked me if I play volleyball in my school. And I said yes.”

The Duke and Duchess are in the midst of their first official trip to Nigeria. They kicked off their three-day visit, which also serves as a celebration of Harry’s Invictus Games turning 10, with a visit to a school in the capital city.

Meghan Markle speaks on Prince Harry's love of volleyball at Invictus Games in Nigeria
Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images for The Archewell Foundation

The trip comes among speculation about Harry’s relationship with his father, King Charles III. Though he was in London earlier this week for an Invictus celebration, Charles did not attend and Harry was unable to call on him.

“In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not The Duke will meet with his father while in the UK this week, it unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full program,” a representative for Harry told Us Weekly at the time.

Harry and Charles, 75, have suffered from a strained relationship since Harry made the decision to step away from his royal duties and move to the United States, and their estrangement only grew in the wake of the duke’s 2023 memoir, Spare. In the wake of Charles’ cancer diagnosis, Harry has reportedly made in-roads on repairing that relationship. The California-based royal hopped a plane to London almost immediately after learning of his father’s condition and later celebrated the ability to talk with his dad in an interview with Good Morning America.

Inside Prince William and Prince Harry Relationship Over the Years

Related: Prince William and Prince Harry’s Complicated Relationship Over the Years

Prince William and Prince Harry may be royalty, but their sibling bond is like that of any set of brothers. “Their relationship is incredibly intimate,” Princess Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton revealed in the November 2019 edition of Royals Monthly. “Nobody apart from each other knows exactly — not even their father — what’s gone on […]

“I love my family,” he said during the chat in February of this year. “The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go and see him and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that.

However, amid Princess Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis, the mood remains tense between Harry and brother Prince William.

Markle has attempted to smooth ruffled feathers, while respecting that William, 41, is going through a tough time. His wife, Princess Kate Middleton, was also recently diagnosed with cancer. An insider told Us that the “Duke and Duchess [of Sussex] … don’t want to add stress to the situation.”

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