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Meghan Markle Is Waving a Nigerian Flag at the Invictus Games: Here's Why

The Duchess of Sussex might have a special affinity for the Team Nigeria squad

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Meghan Markle cheers during the sitting volleyball match between Nigeria and Ukraine at the 2023 Invictus Games.

Chris Jackson/Getty

Meghan Markle cheers during the sitting volleyball match between Nigeria and Ukraine at the 2023 Invictus Games.

Meghan Markle is rooting for a newcomer at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.

On Thursday, Duchess of Sussex, 42, watched a sitting volleyball match between Nigeria and Ukraine at the sixth edition of the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she waved a Nigerian flag. The moment marked her latest show of support at the Invictus Games for Team Nigeria, which debuted as a new entrant this year alongside Colombia and Israel.

Meghan and Prince Harry, 38, enthusiastically followed the action at Merkur Spiel Arena, where they smiled for selfies with fellow attendees supporting the Nigerian team. While Harry — a British Army veteran and founding patron of the Invictus Games — famously stays neutral at the international adaptive sports tournament for service personnel and veterans, which he launched in 2014, he revealed in his opening ceremony speech that his wife is cheering for Nigeria.

The Duke of Sussex gave a warm welcome to the 500 athletes from 21 nations in Düsseldorf last Saturday, sharing words of wisdom about self-discovery and teamwork, plus a cheeky shoutout to Meghan’s allegiances.

<p>Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty </p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the sitting volleyball match between Nigeria and Ukraine at the 2023 Invictus Games.

Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the sitting volleyball match between Nigeria and Ukraine at the 2023 Invictus Games.

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"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," Harry said. In October 2022, the Duchess of Sussex revealed on her podcast, Archetypes, that she is 43% Nigerian through a genealogy test “a couple years ago.”

"I'm going to start to dig deeper into all this because anybody that I've told, especially Nigerian women, are like 'What!' ” Meghan told her guest Ziwe.

The Invictus Games competition commenced on Sunday, and Meghan joined Harry there on Tuesday. She playfully apologized for being “a little late for the party” in a brief speech at the Family & Friends party that evening, explaining that she had been with their kids Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2. Meghan made her tournament debut on Wednesday, where she spent time with the Nigerian team behind the scenes.

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photo with members of Team Nigeria at the 2023 Invictus Games.

Chris Jackson/Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photo with members of Team Nigeria at the 2023 Invictus Games.

Related: Meghan Markle Hasn't Been Wearing Her Engagement Ring from Prince Harry: Here's Why

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posed with a photo with Team Nigeria and the national flag, and Hello! reported the squad presented them with a plaque from the Chief of Defense. Meghan was also gifted a little something extra — a new nickname. According to Hello!, she received the name “Amira Ngozi Lolo,” which bears a royal meaning. Amira is the name of a warrior princess from a legend, while Ngozi means "blessed" and Lolo means "royal wife."

The former Suits star married Prince Harry in May 2018, and the newlyweds received their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles from Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth as a wedding present. While the couple stepped back from their royal roles in the U.K. and relocated to Meghan’s home state of California in 2020, they retained their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.

Meghan has stayed busy since arriving at the Düsseldorf games, where she’s watched many events with Harry, awarded gold medals to the U.S. wheelchair basketball team and attended a meeting with NATO representatives. Friday marks the last full day of competition, per the tournament schedule, and the sixth Invictus Games will conclude on Saturday with the closing ceremony.

<p>Joern Pollex/Getty</p> Meghan Markle attends the Mixed Team Wheelchair Basketball Medal Ceremony at the 2023 Invictus Games.

Joern Pollex/Getty

Meghan Markle attends the Mixed Team Wheelchair Basketball Medal Ceremony at the 2023 Invictus Games.

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The event has previously been held in London (2014), Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017), Sydney (2018) and The Hague (2022). In 2025, the Invictus Games will return to North America and take place in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada — not a far flight from Harry and Meghan’s Montecito home.

Exclusively speaking to PEOPLE at Invictus Games The Hague last year, Prince Harry said that he and Meghan looked forward to introducing their kids to Invictus one day.

“We can’t wait! I showed Archie a video of wheelchair basketball and rugby from the Invictus Games in Sydney, and he absolutely loved it,” Prince Harry told PEOPLE in 2022. “I showed him how some were missing legs and explained that some had invisible injuries, too. Not because he asked, but because I wanted to tell him. Kids understand so much, and to see it through his eyes was amazing because it’s so unfiltered and honest.”

When asked what he wanted his children to know about his military service, Prince Harry said, “That I am grateful for every experience I had in and out of my uniform. That I learned how to be in true service for others. That finding your purpose is one of the most gratifying experiences. And that working hard should be fulfilling and rewarding at the same time.”

<p>Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a meeting with NATO representatives at the 2023 Invictus Games.

Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a meeting with NATO representatives at the 2023 Invictus Games.

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