Prince Harry Says That Meghan Markle Will be Cheering on Nigeria in This Year’s Invictus Games

Prince Harry is spending the week in Düsseldorf as the sixth edition of the Invictus Games takes place in the German city. And the Prince took to the stage to cheers at the opening ceremony to deliver a key speech ahead of the competition.

“We’re really excited to have new nations join us," the Prince told the crowd. “Let’s hear it for Colombia, Israel and Nigeria. I’m not saying we play favorites in my home, but since my wife discovered that she is of Nigerian descent it’s likely to get a little bit more competitive this year.” Meghan shared in her Archetypes podcast last October that she had discovered through a genealogy test that she was 43% Nigerian. The Duchess was not at the opening ceremony but will be joining her husband in Düsseldorf on Monday September 11 and will attend the closing ceremony.

prince harry onstage during the opening ceremony of the invictus games
Prince Harry onstage during the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games.Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Harry’s speech, which was delivered without notes, championed the inspirational wounded servicemen and women from 21 countries who will compete over the next week in the Games he founded in 2014. “Grasp every opportunity and revel in it. Because in your joy, in your happiness, in your achievements, we all win,” the Prince told them.

Harry also included a special mention for Ukrainian competitor, Yuliia Paievska—or Taira— who missed last year’s Games when she was held captive by Russian forces for three months. “I want to take a moment to recognise team Ukraine and one very special person in particular - Taira,” the Prince said to huge cheers. “I don’t think I’ve ever met someone as courageous and resilient as you. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that you embody the true spirit of Ukraine and of Invictus. And it is so good to see you and feel your energy in person.”

prince harry delivered his speech at the opening ceremony without notes
Prince Harry delivered his speech at the opening ceremony without notes.Chris Jackson - Getty Images

This year’s Invictus Games are taking place from September 9 to 16 and feature 500 competitors from 21 nations competing in 10 sports. This year, table tennis has been added for the first time.

Earlier in the day, the Prince met with Invictus volunteers who had been tasked with conducting assessments of all competitors to facilitate a fair competition. Harry posed for a picture with the group wearing an Invictus Games t-shirt.

Harry flew to Düsseldorf following a whirlwind stop in London where he attended the WellChid Awards, which is another charity that he has retained the patronage of since stepping back from royal life. He also paid his respects to Queen Elizabeth at her burial site in St George’s Chapel, Windsor on the first anniversary of her death. The Prince did not visit Balmoral to see his father and it is understood that he did not see Prince William as relations between the brothers remain estranged.

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