Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s faux ‘royal’ travels create headaches and show ‘all about me’ POV: sources

Prince Harry and Meghan’s recent Nigeria trip was such a glossy PR success they’re likely to set up more faux “royal” tours — much to the chagrin of actual working royals, insiders told Page Six.

The couple’s visit earlier this month came on the heels of a much-publicized February trip to Canada to promote the 2025 Invictus Games.

But well-placed royal sources with knowledge of royal tours worry that such splashy, high-profile jaunts could create a “major diplomatic incident” for other countries.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose with kids during the Giant of Africa Foundation at the Dream Big Basketball clinic in Lagos, Nigeria, on May 12. AP

Working royals — which Harry and Meghan were before they decided to step down from the roles in 2020 —  make official visits abroad at the express invitation of the British Foreign Office.

One well-placed royal source told Page Six, “Harry and Meghan’s trip was very interesting since it didn’t fit any of the normally accepted royal categories. This would have given the High Commission in Nigeria a headache. If a prince lands in your patch, officially or otherwise, you have protocol, security and media issues which have to be right.”

Normally, the royal source added, “This would all be part of the planning of a proper royal tour. But Harry and Meghan’s tour showed their ‘all about me’ media strategy and how they divert from royalty’s role as super ambassadors for Britain.

“When Harry and Meghan break all the usual norms of royal visits, it somewhat looks like the royal family can’t manage itself properly.”

This all comes as the most popular working royals are not able to travel on official tours.

Kate Middleton, along with Prince William, last went on tour to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas — a trip fraught with political issues — in 2022. But the Princess of Wales is now out of the public eye as she battles cancer.

Nigeria Chief of Defense Christopher Musa (far left) invited Harry and Markle to the country. AFP via Getty Images

King Charles and Queen Camilla, meanwhile, were meant to visit Australia later this year, but Charles, 75, is also battling cancer.

“A high-profile royal visit overseas has one main function — to promote British interests: diplomatic, trade, cultural and humanitarian. That’s their job,” said the royal source. “By the grace of god there wasn’t a major diplomatic incident this time, but it’s a risk for the future that Harry and Meghan seem to be willing to disregard.”

A British official with knowledge of royal tours told Page Six that Harry and Meghan’s attention-drawing travels would cause a “medium headache” for embassies and high commissions.

Markle and Harry, seen here at the Ilupeju Senior Grammar School in Lagos are able to travel right now while many working royals are not. Getty Images for The Archewell Foundation
“When Harry and Meghan break all the usual norms of royal visits,” a source said, “it somewhat looks like the royal family can’t manage itself properly.” AFP via Getty Images

It would be up to the British embassy and the host country to decide how to engage with them, the source said, admitting, “The foreign office feels the impact of having fewer working royals. It’s like having a little bit of gold dust, and you can only sprinkle it so far.”

Harry and Markle traveled to Nigeria at the invitation of the country’s chief of defense General Christopher Musa.

The tour included a visit to Nigeria Unconquered, an Invictus-affiliated charity, along with an emotional visit to a military hospital in Kaduna for Harry.

Sources said that Harry and Markle’s foreign trips were reminiscent of when Princess Diana — Harry’s mother — stepped out on the world stage on her own following her split from King Charles. Getty Images

Markle, meanwhile, appeared on a panel discussion about women and leadership alongside the director-general of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In stepping back from their roles as working royals, the couple had hoped to serve both the crown and the commonwealth — of which Nigeria is a part — while striving for financial independence, but Queen Elizabeth turned them down, prompting their move to the US.

Other sources said that Harry and Markle’s foreign trips were reminiscent of how Princess Diana stepped out on the world stage on her own following her split from King Charles.

Princess Diana greets Mother Teresa at the Missions of Charity in The Bronx in June 1997 on another of her solo trips. 6.18.97

However, one insider said that many of her trips were supported fully by the foreign office as she supported British interests abroad.

Harry has said that “Africa is in my soul,” and sources say both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will absolutely revisit the continent.