Meghan Markle was bestowed a new nickname by the team representing Nigeria at the Invictus Games this week, which includes one term that translates to “royal wife” and another meaning “blessed”.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently in Dusselforf, Germany, attending the paralympic sporting event for veterans that was founded by Prince Harry in 2014.
On Wednesday, the royal couple sat in the bleachers to watch a wheelchair basketball match between Ukraine and Australia at the Merkur Spiel-Arena, where they were spotted cheering enthusiastically.
After the match yesterday afternoon, Harry and Meghan met members of the 10-person Nigerian contingent, who presented the couple with a plaque from Christopher Gwabin Musa, Nigeria’s chief of defence.
The team also gave Meghan a new nickname, Amira Ngozi Lolo, comprising three names from different regions, The Independent understands.
“Amira” is a warrior princess from Nigerian legend, while “Ngozi” means “blessed” and “Lolo” signifies “royal wife”.
Meghan revealed that her mixed-race heritage includes being “43 per cent Nigerian” last year, during an episode of her Spotify podcast, Archetypes.
The duchess told Nigerian-American actor Ziwe that she discovered her roots after having her genealogy tested “a couple of years ago”.
Asked if she knew which tribe her ancestors were from, Meghan said she did not but is planning to “start to dig deeper into all of this”.
Ziwe said the news was “huge for our community”, adding: “No, honestly, you do look like a Nigerian, you look like my aunt Uzo. So this is great.”
This is the first time Nigeria is participating in the Invictus Games, becoming the first African nation to join the tournament.
Other first-time participants include Israel and Columbia, taking the total number of competing countries to 22 this year.
Dominic Reid OBE, the chief executive of the Invictus Games Foundation said: “Such was the impact of the opportunities we provide, including within Nigeria, and the support of senior military stakeholders, that we felt the team there were ready and well-prepared for joining an Invictus Games.
“I am delighted that an invitation has now been issued for a team of 10 wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans to attend the Games as the first African nation to do so.”
While opening the games on 9 September, Harry said Meghan would be cheering for Nigeria after the duchess discovered she is of Nigerian descent, adding that make things between them “a little bit more competitive this year”.
“Now I’m not saying we play favourites in our home… but since my wife discovered that she is of Nigerian descent, it’s likely to get a little bit more competitive this year,” he told the packed arena.
For her first appearance at the Invictus Games, Meghan opted to wear a pair of Staud linen shorts with a black tank and Chanel Mary Jane slingbacks. She completed the look with an elegant J-Crew sweater blazer as the retailer’s website crashed after Meghan was photographed at the match.
A total of 550 sick, wounded and injured former and current military personnel from around the world are taking part in 10 team and individual sports at the Invictus Games this year.
Harry came up with the idea for the tournament after a trip to the US where he attended the department of defence’s Warrior Games. He said the experience showed him how sport can help the rehabilitation of injured and sick military personnel, and launched the paralympics-style event in 2014.