Harry and Meghan's Nigeria tour was 'controlled skilfully and with an iron hand' (2024)

Following speculation that Meghan Markle might want to get into politics one day, a journalist who joined the Sussexes in Nigeria said the trip could have been a 'masterstroke'

Harry and Meghan's Nigeria tour was 'controlled skilfully and with an iron hand' (1)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have wrapped up their three-day tour of Nigeria, during which they made a big impression and were warmly welcomed wherever they went.

The Duke and duch*ess of Sussex were accompanied by their top aide Miranda Barbot, a PR expert who was part of the team behind Barack Obama's re-election in 2012. Commentators have previously claimed that Meghan would want to dive into politics herself and according to a journalist who joined the Sussexes on the tour, their visit to Nigeria could have been beneficial for her.

During their visit, Harry and Meghan visited the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja, attended events organised by local charities and even met the kings of four different states. Journalist Ian Gallagher said that overall, the tour was "a job well done" for the Sussexes, who achieved "success" despite not attracting as much media attention by newspapers in Nigeria.

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The Daily Mail journalist wrote in a column: "Whatever the true complexion of this fascinating tour – private, non-royal, quasi-royal, presidential – one thing was certain. It was controlled skilfully and with an iron hand. Now back home in Montecito, Harry and Meghan will doubtless reflect on a job well done."

Mr Gallagher added that, unlike official royal tours, the couple's visit did not attract large crowds as most events were held behind closed doors and were only attended by a few journalists. He added that Prince Harry was "affable" and had a strong resemblance to his mother, Diana, who visited Nigeria in 1990 and was pictured holding the hand of a leprosy patient.

The Duke was seen giving encouragement to wounded soldiers, talking to children and socialising with people involved in the military. But according to the journalist, Harry will not be able to "escape the feeling that he was – deliberately or otherwise – bundled out of the limelight by his wife."

Meghan was very popular during the tour and even opened up about a recent DNA test she took which revealed she is 43 per cent Nigerian. While in the country, she was honoured as Nigeria's "new princess" after being given the title of respect Ada Mazi, which means "daughter of an aristocrat".

According to Mr Gallagher, Meghan appeared as a "sure-footed global stateswoman in her own right", noting that when Ms Barbot was hired by the Sussexes two years ago, it was suggested by one insider that "it wouldn't be a huge shock if Meghan went into politics." While the idea that the duch*ess would like to run as president one day is speculation, the journalist suggested it would not be "such a wild leap" as he noted that if this was her intention, the trip "will have done her no harm at all – and might even prove a masterstroke."

Meghan said it was a "complete blessing" to visit Nigeria after finding out about her link to the West African country. The pair were stopped by a journalist who asked them how their visit was and the duch*ess smiled saying: "A complete blessing. Thank you!"

Harry added: "We had a wonderful time. Thank you very much… the hospitality has been fantastic, Thank you." Back in 2022, the duch*ess revealed during an episode of her short-lived Archetypes podcast that DNA tests had revealed she was 43 per cent Nigerian, and while speaking at an event in the country's capital of Abuja, Meghan said it was "humbling" to learn about her heritage.

"Never in a million years would I understand it as much as I do now. And what has been echoed so much in the past day is, 'Oh, we are not so surprised when we found out you are Nigerian'. It is a compliment to you because what they define as a Nigerian woman is brave, resilient, courageous, beautiful," she explained. Audience members were then asked to give Meghan a Nigerian name, with one suggesting "Omowale", which hails from the Yoruba tribe and means "the child has come home".

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Harry and Meghan's Nigeria tour was 'controlled skilfully and with an iron hand' (2)

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Harry and Meghan's Nigeria tour was 'controlled skilfully and with an iron hand' (2024)
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