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Meghan Markle secretly flew into unfriendly U.K. before taking Nigeria ‘by storm’

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Meghan Markle probably suspected she wouldn’t gain anything by accompanying Prince Harry to London this week for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Invictus Games, before traveling with him to Nigeria, where she certainly found a much more hospitable welcome on Friday, with even the usually critical Daily Mail saying the couple took “Nigeria by storm.”

On Thursday, the British media made it clear that Harry was snubbed by his own father, King Charles III, and the rest of the British royal family. Charles, still undergoing treatment for cancer, had other “priorities” this week, including a garden party at Buckingham Palace, and wasn’t able to make time to see his younger son, Harry’s spokesperson revealed in a somewhat pointed statement.

Speculation also was rampant that Meghan, who has become pretty unpopular the U.K., wanted to avoid the possibility of being booed outside St. Paul’s Cathedral Wednesday, where the Invictus Games celebration was held.

But that doesn’t mean that the American Duchess of Sussex avoided the U.K. altogether on her trip from California to Nigeria. The Daily Mail reported that Meghan flew into Heathrow Airport from Los Angeles, meeting up with her husband at the airport’s VIP Windsor Suite Thursday evening. From there, the couple boarded a British Airways overnight flight to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

When the Sussexes arrived in Nigeria just before 5 a.m. Friday, they were welcomed by Nigerian officials, as Daily Mail photos show. The couple turned up later Friday for the first stop in their three-day visit to the West African nation: a mental health summit at the Lightway Academy, a school in Abuja that provides critical health and education services.

At the school, Meghan and Harry received a rapturous welcome, which may have taken away the sting that Harry felt by the king’s “snub” in London. The fact that the king couldn’t find 15 minutes to see Harry on Wednesday, when his son was but two miles away at St. Paul’s Cathedral, is an indication that “the palace gates remain firmly closed” to both the duke and his wife, author Richard Kay wrote in the Daily Mail.

Still, Harry found a crowd of enthusiastic supporters outside St. Paul’s on Wednesday and went up to them to shake hands, TMZ reported. He also told a BBC correspondent at another Invictus-related event in London that it was “great” to be back in his home country.

Nigeria was very excited about bringing the globally famous couple to their country. Harry and Meghan are visiting Nigeria at the invitation of the country’s Defense Ministry, ostensibly to promote the Invictus Games, which offers wounded veterans the challenge of competing in an international sporting event, similar to the Paralympics.

Gen. Christopher Musa, the country’s highest-ranking military official, told CNN that Meghan also was keen to accompany her husband on the visit “as part of her lineage and heritage.” Meghan revealed in 2022 that she discovered she was 43% Nigerian from a genealogy test.

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