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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s three-day trip to Nigeria began on Thursday, May 9 and saw them meet military officials, speak about mental health and promote the Invictus Games, “The King and Prince William are firmly of the belief that you are either in or out of the working Royals.”

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's three-day trip to Nigeria began on Thursday, May 9 and saw them meet military officials, speak about mental health and promote the Invictus Games, “The King and Prince William are firmly of the belief that you are either in or out of the working Royals."

 

While the pair stepped back from their senior royal roles in 2020, their visit to the west African nation was dubbed a ‘mini royal tour’ – a reference which a leading royal expert points out will not have “pleased” King Charles or the Prince of Wales.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's three-day trip to Nigeria began on Thursday, May 9 and saw them meet military officials, speak about mental health and promote the Invictus Games, “The King and Prince William are firmly of the belief that you are either in or out of the working Royals."

Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond told OK! “The King and Prince William are firmly of the belief that you are either in or out of the working Royals.” Jennie continued: “This seems to be a rather strange halfway house. I think both the King and the Prince, and indeed the Government, will want it to be made clear that Harry is not representing either the Royal Family or Britain on this trip.”

While the visit largely focused on the Invictus Games as it celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, Harry also took the time to speak about the importance of protecting our mental health. Proving that the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her guiding influence is clearly never far from his thoughts, Harry gave a heartfelt speech at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria where he spoke about “acknowledging bad days, grief and sadness”.

Harry told a group of schoolchildren: “There is no shame to be able to acknowledge that today is a bad day. Okay? If you woke up this morning feeling sad, if you left school feeling stressed, if you’ve lost a loved one in your family who you usually turn to or speak to, all of these things you may be led to believe are not for conversation. We are here today to tell you that that is not the case.”

Lightway Academy’s School Director, Joyce Agbese, said that mental health is a topic not often talked about in Nigeria. She praised Prince Harry’s message to the students, which was to “speak up and speak out, don’t bottle things up”. “He nailed it, basically yes. We want to encourage them to speak out, speak up, express their emotions in the right way,” said Ms Agbese. “When somebody this popular or this famous speaks about mental health it makes people realise that it’s normal and so they don’t have to be afraid to talk about it.”

Two members of the Sussex family who are missing from the trip to Nigeria are Prince Archie, five, and Princess Lilibet, two. The decision to leave the youngsters at home sends a clear message, Jennie points out. “I imagine granny Doria will be looking after them while their parents are away and they may have other help as well.

“Archie is presumably at school or pre school now, so Doria won’t have her hands full with them both all day long. It does underline however, that Meghan doesn’t mind leaving the children behind for a few days.”

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