Prince Harry and Meghan's 'Royal' Tours Spark Outrage, Spotlight Self-Centered Image

Harry, Meghan Stir Controversy in Nigeria.

by Nouman Rasool
Prince Harry and Meghan's 'Royal' Tours Spark Outrage, Spotlight Self-Centered Image
© Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent tour of Nigeria has stirred controversy among traditional royal circles, highlighting a shift in how the couple undertakes international engagements. Their trip, described as a resounding public relations triumph, signals a possible series of similar unofficial "royal" tours, much to the dismay of the established royal family, according to insiders.

In February, the couple was in Canada to promote the 2025 Invictus Games, but it's their high-profile, attention-grabbing jaunts that are causing concern among royal insiders. Sources close to royal operations express worries that such flamboyant excursions could potentially lead to diplomatic tensions.

Traditionally, members of the royal family, such as Harry and Meghan prior to their 2020 departure from official duties, undertake tours at the invitation of the British Foreign Office, ensuring a layer of diplomatic security and protocol adherence.

However, their recent activities deviate significantly from these norms. A royal insider disclosed that their visit to Nigeria was particularly challenging, lacking the usual logistical and protocol planning expected of royal tours.

This deviation not only creates operational headaches for local high commissions but also reflects poorly on the royal family's ability to manage its members, further straining its image as Britain's diplomatic figureheads.

Royals Face Health Crises

This ongoing saga unfolds as other prominent royals face personal challenges. Kate Middleton and Prince William equally had to stop all their foreign activities due to the health of both Kate as well as that of King Charles.

This was further followed by Queen Camilla calling off their Australian trip after Charles was diagnosed with cancer. The royal family's role, especially during its overseas visits, has much to do with representing British interests: diplomatic, trade, cultural, and humanitarian.

Yet, according to another British official, the absence of active senior royals is likened to having "a little bit of gold dust" that can only be spread so thin. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's trip included a visit to "Nigeria Unconquered," an Invictus-related charity, and a poignant stop at a military hospital in Kaduna for Harry.

Meghan took part in a panel on women and leadership alongside WTO's Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Despite stepping back from their royal roles, aiming for financial independence while serving the Commonwealth—of which Nigeria is a part—their attempts have been met with mixed reactions.

Their ongoing international presence recalls Princess Diana's solo global humanitarian efforts post-divorce, which, unlike Harry and Meghan's, were fully supported by the British Foreign Office. As the couple continues to navigate their path outside the conventional royal framework, with Africa holding a special place in Harry's heart, their saga with the continent and the world stage is far from over.

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