meghan markle prince harry land in nigeria

Meghan and Harry visited Nigeria for three duty-packed days last week (Image: Getty)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s recent three-day visit to Nigeria was a “slap in the face” for the Royal Family, according to a commentator.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled to the Nigerian capital of Abuja where they met with local government representatives and charity workers to discuss their work with the Invictus Games and the Archewell Foundation.

The pair faced criticism as they were accused of turning their independent visit into a quasi-royal tour reminiscent of their days as working members of the Royal Family.

Commentator Pandora Forsyth noted the pair’s conduct could be interpreted as a “dig” to the Firm.

Miss Forsyth argued the Duke and Duchess appeared to behave as royals even after indicating they had wanted no part in the pomp and circumstance after being refused a half-in, half-time arrangement in 2020.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle holding hands

Harry and Meghan faced criticism as their visit was seen as a dig at the Royal Family (Image: Getty)

Speaking to Sky News Australia, she said: “This is a little bit of a slap in the face for the Royal Family because they said that they wanted a private life and they wanted to be getting on with their own things.

“Whereas a royal tour…they essentially just did one without the royal status attached to it and created headlines around the world.

“Many people might see it as a missed opportunity but many people will also see it as a dig at the Royal Family.”

Ms Forsyth praised Harry and Meghan for raising awareness about mental health and mentoring girls but questioned the motives behind their visit.

She added: “I’m not saying that the work that they did there wasn’t brilliant because, in many aspects, it was.

“But what do they actually want to achieve by this? Is it the fact they want to carry doing royal work without having to actually be working royals and be in the UK and be able to carry on that work as a Royal Family member?

“Or do they want the benefit of living in California, having the independence to carry on those Netflix deals, those Spotify deals and the book deals? What do they actually want here?

“And it is opening a door to the Royal Family again or are they just going to slam it shut?”

When they first announced their plans to step down from their institutional roles, Harry and Meghan had said they would be open to carrying out royal work should the need arise.

However, after a tense summit with the late Queen, King Charles and Prince William, the pair confirmed they would pursue independent business ventures as they established themselves as private citizens.

The Duke and Duchess went on to strike a multi-million deal with Netflix and later Spotify, which came to an end last year.