Duchess of Sussex wears yellow Lilibet dress to mark colourful final day in Nigeria

Harry and Meghan have arrived in Lagos for the Invictus Games anniversary celebrations
The Duke and Duchess arrive in Lagos for the Invictus Games anniversary celebrations - OLA SULAIMON/AFP

The Duchess of Sussex kept her promise to “wear more colour” on Sunday as she changed into a bright yellow dress to meet the State Governor of Lagos in Nigeria.

The 42-year-old donned the ankle-length Carolina Herrera “Yellow Silk Overlay Column Gown” that she wore in 2021 to announce her pregnancy with Princess Lilibet.

She was also pictured wearing the dress in a social media post to mark Prince Archie’s first birthday in May 2020.

On Saturday, the Duchess said: “I [had] very quickly gotten the memo that I need to wear more colour so I can fit in with all of you in your incredible fashion. I am very overwhelmed.”

She changed into the dress for a private meeting with the Governor of Lagos State, Babjide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday afternoon.

Inside, the Duke and Duchess discussed mental health, the Invictus Games and their visit to the country.

As they emerged onto the lawn in front of the Marina State House, the Duchess had an additional shawl that matched the gown – a gift from the Governor’s wife.

“For Prince Harry this has been a very interesting and very informative trip to the country,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said. “He has seen a lot and is still soaking in a whole lot. One of the things we are hoping he will take away, is he sees the diversity and the extent of how big our country is and how we continue to ensure that we live together in peace and harmony.”

Mr Sanwo-Olu said he had extended an invitation for the couple to return.

“We are happy for what they are doing for military men and mental health issues and mental illness,” he said and talked about galvanising the support to ensure that “people who require the support both in the military and private can seek the support. The denial, the stigmatisation is one of the things that we talked about.”

He added: “On behalf of all of us in Lagos we are excited, we are happy to have you with us this afternoon.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a charity polo match on final leg of their Nigerian tour
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a charity polo match on final leg of their Nigerian tour

The Duke and Duchess were welcomed onto the basketball court at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School, with a series of street-style dances.

Masai Ujiri, a former NBA professional and chairman and vice-president of Giants of Africa, wished the Duchess a “Happy, happy Mother’s Day”, prompting the Duke to stand up and applaud all the women in the room.

Mr Ujiri told the crowd: “It is sometimes hard for us to be away from our kids and family to make things like this happen. But to do so shows dedication. To come to something like this and dedicate yourself we truly appreciate it so thank you again.”

The Sussexes were there to unveil a partnership between their Archewell Foundation and Giants of Africa which uses sport – principally basketball – to empower and engage young people.

The Duchess revealed that she first heard of the charity while living in Toronto, where she filmed US legal drama Suits.

“[It was] the first time I ever heard of Giants of Africa – talk about full circle – never did I think we would be able to be here all those years later supporting the expansion of this incredible organisation,” she said. “We’re so grateful and proud of all the work that you’re doing.”

The Duchess added: “We can’t wait to see you play.

“Don’t tempt me to try to do any basketball, my husband is the athletic one. Thank you, we’re happy to be here. And let’s have a fun afternoon.”

Taking the microphone, the Duke hailed the charity’s work: “What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing.”

“Specifically with sport. The power of sport can change lives. It brings people together and creates community and there are no barriers which is the most important thing. It’s wonderful to see each and every one of you here today, sitting on this court. I know you’re ready to go. And we’re going to get those balls going and you’re going to show us how good you are.”

The Duke then stepped on to the court and took part in some ball bouncing drills.

As the event ended, he took a shot and scored.

On Saturday evening, the Duchess spoke at a women-in-leadership event in which she thanked her hosts for welcoming her to “my country”. She has previously revealed that she discovered she was “43 per cent Nigerian” in a genealogy test.

Defining Nigerian women as “brave, resilient, courageous, powerful, beautiful”, the Duchess said: “It is the most flattering thing to be in that company, to be in your company.”

She added: “It’s been really eye-opening and humbling to be able to know more about my heritage, and to be able to know this is just the beginning of that discovery.”

Appearing at the event, alongside Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, the Duchess also spoke about how much she loved being a mother.

“Being a mom has always been a dream of mine,” she said. “And I’m so fortunate that we have two beautiful, healthy, very chatty sweet children.”

Impromptu thank you speech

The final engagement of the three-day tour saw the couple visit the prestigious Lagos Polo Club, where they watched a children’s parade before two teams played a match, Duke versus Duchess.

For Harry, it was familiar ground. An established polo player, he is currently making a documentary for Netflix about the sport. The game ended 5-3 to the Duchess’s team.

After handing out medals to the young and old players, Harry gave an impromptu speech saying “thank you” for the hospitality of the club and Nigeria as a whole.