It’s thought their friendship dates back to 2007 – so perhaps it’s no surprise that Nacho Figueras has become a supportive figure in Prince Harry’s new life, away from the Royal Family.
The Duke of Sussex was reunited with the Argentinian polo player yesterday when arriving in Japan for a summit on sport, community and philanthropy. Nacho will also support the prince in Singapore later this week for Harry’s fundraising Sentebale Polo Cup.
They have played polo alongside one another in various matches over the years, and Nacho, 46, has become one of Harry and Meghan Markle‘s most vocal supporters, praising them in magazine interviews and during TV appearances.
The father-of-four – dubbed the ‘David Beckham of Polo’ – was also among a handful of the Duke and Duchess’s closest confidantes who appeared in the couple’s Netflix documentary.
His closeness to the couple is despite his public openness about his friendship with Harry and Meghan, who has previously insisted her family has a ‘basic right to privacy’, as well as even launching a royal-inspired scent.
It’s thought their friendship dates back to 2007 – so perhaps it’s no surprise that Nacho Figueras (pictured with the Duke of Sussex in May 2022 at a polo game) has become a supportive figure in Prince Harry’s new life, away from the Royal Family
In September 2019, Nacho – who witnessed the early days of the couple’s romance and was later a guest at their wedding – appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ show to announce that he would ‘defend his friends’ with his life.
The millionaire appears totally at ease with mentioning his friendship with the royal in interviews, for in that same year, he told Town and Country magazine: ‘What I like the most about [Harry] is how real he is and how serious he is about improving life for kids that have not had the blessings that we’ve had.’
He also described Meghan as ‘incredible’ and praised the former actress for ‘giving up everything for the man she loves’ in the Sussexes’ Netflix documentary.
During the Harry & Meghan docuseries, Nacho also revealed how the prince confided in him after sharing a first date with Meghan.
He described how him and his wife, Delfina Blaquier, went for dinner with Harry shortly after the prince met his future wife in 2017.
Nacho said: ‘He looked at us and said ”guys, I met a girl, we’ve just met but I think this might be the one”. You could tell right away that those eyes were those of someone who’d fallen in love.’
Elsewhere, the polo player isn’t afraid to showcase his friendship with the prince on his social media page. In 2022, he shared a post praising the Duke on Instagram, writing: ‘What a joy to see you smile and be so happy. I love being your teammate.’
He also took to his account in May 2019 to prove his loyalty to his friend, stating: ‘The world thinks they know everything about this man. I have been fortunate enough to spend enough time over the years to learn and understand the man he really is.’
His closeness to the couple is despite his public openness about his friendship with Harry and Meghan, who has previously insisted her family has a ‘basic right to privacy’ , as well as even launching a royal-inspired scent. Pictured, Nacho at this fragrance collection launch in December 2019
Meanwhile, the polo player revealed the couple’s top secret evening wedding invitation to his Instagram followers in 2018 – despite details surrounding the event at Frogmore House being tightly guarded at the time
The father-of-four – dubbed the ‘David Beckham of Polo’ – was also among a handful of the Duke and Duchess’s closest confidantes who appeared in the couple’s Netflix documentary (pictured)
Nacho gave a glimpse of the evening invitation given to selected guests to attend the final part of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding celebrations. The small A6 piece of card featured a hand-painted image of Frogmore House along with details about the event
The polo player went on to describe the prince as being kind, generous, compassionate and ‘constantly thinking about how to make the world a better place.’
But there was one incident where perhaps Nacho shared too much on his Instagram account regarding Harry and Meghan.
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The polo player revealed the couple’s top secret evening wedding invitation to his followers in 2018 – despite details surrounding the event at Frogmore House being tightly guarded at the time.
It is thought attendees were asked to refrain from publishing photographs on social media.
However, not all could resist the temptation with Nacho – who had been present alongside his wife at the church ceremony held in St George’s Chapel earlier in the day – sharing a snap of his evening invite.
In a post to Instagram, the Ralph Lauren model showed off his tuxedo suit and displayed the delicate invitation, an A6 piece of folded card with an exquisite hand-painted image of Frogmore House.
On the front of the card, it read: ‘M & H, Saturday 19th May 2018, Frogmore House. Information to the Evening Celebrations’. The post was later deleted, according.
He also happened to include a bottle of Ralph Lauren fragrance in the image.
Nacho was among the first to meet Meghan and Harry’s son Archie in 2019 in Windsor – and it seems the special occasion made its mark on the polo player, who launched a scent named after the British town.
In December 2019, Nacho launched a perfume named after Harry’s hometown while hinting at ‘a brotherhood of kindred spirits’ with the Duke.
He released a range of six different perfumes inspired by his travels around the world, including one called ‘Windsor’, which he said he hoped would ‘bring feelings of every kind of paradise.’
Posting on Instagram about the launch, the Argentinian wrote: ‘The locations that inspired this collection evoke sentimental memories of time spent there with my wife Delfina and our children.’
A portion of the sales proceeds from the fragrances were donated to Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale.
Nacho has played polo alongside Prince Harry, 38, in various matches over the years, attended the royal wedding and was among the first to meet his son Archie in 2019
Score! Nacho congratulates Prince Harry after scoring during the Sentebale Handa Polo Cup charity match in Rome; pictured May 2019
Meanwhile, Nacho appears to be a main character in Harry’s new life in the US – with the pair enjoying polo matches together at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club as teammates. The friends were frequently pictured putting on particularly tactile displays last summer.
While they may appear to come from different worlds, it is their shared love of polo which has pulled them into a close friendship.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nacho started playing the game at the ripe age of nine years old after his father introduced him to the sport.
He became a professional polo player by the time he was just 17. After a stint in Europe, he ended up at the White Birch Polo Team based in Bridgehampton, New York.
Described by Tatler as ‘the David Beckham of Polo’ he now holds a 6-goal handicap and an estimated net worth of $30million and has been modelling for Ralph Lauren since 2000.
But modelling was never the goal for the athlete, who began his career just to earn some extra cash and bring more attention to his beloved sport.
It all took off when he was approached by photographer Bruce Weber at a party in The Hamptons hosted by Calvin Klein’s ex-wife Kelly, who encouraged him to get his start in modelling.
While that avenue of his career has introduced his objectively handsome face into everyday homes via glossy fashion magazines and television commercials, the game of polo has always been his true passion.
Polo for charity: Nacho Figueras and Prince Harry hold the trophy after the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, which helps raise funds to support children and young adults affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana; pictured in June 2017
Best pals: Nacho and Prince Harry at the 2018 Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup, with Meghan Markle and Delfina walking behind them; pictured in July 2018
He and Harry have been playing alongside each other in charity matches for the past decade, ultimately resulting in them becoming close friends.
Both Harry and Nacho regularly play in Sentebale’s charity matches to raise funds for Sentebale, an organisation co-founded by Prince Harry that supports children and young people affected by HIV in southern Africa.
Charity is another common interest for Nacho and the Duke, with the polo player actively praising the royal over the years for his work.
Nacho has been to Lesotho with Harry at least three times, most recently opening the Mamohato Centre together in 2015.
He said the charity, of which he is an ambassador, remained ‘incredibly close to our hearts’. He also revealed that Harry was ‘the first one to wake up’ during their trips to Lesotho, and was always up to date with the goings-on.
Nacho said that the Duke would often point out things which should be fixed, as well as asking for updates on equipment.
Along with forming a special friendship with Harry, the game of polo also brought Nacho to his wife Delfina Blaquier, the daughter of an Argentinian polo player.
The pair first met, fittingly, at a polo match in Buenos Aires in 1997. They started dating in early 1998 and welcomed their first son in 2000, and wed in December 2005. The couple now has four children together: Hilario; Aurora; Artemo; and Alba.
Fatherhood is another topic which he is believed to have bonded with the Duke of Sussex over.
Shortly after Harry’s son Archie was born, Nacho praised the royal as an ‘amazing’ parent and said he is ‘very, very happy’ about fatherhood. The polo player was among the first to meet Archie, having visited Windsor shortly after his birth.
He said: ‘He seems to be really, really happy so I’m very happy and excited for him. I’ve been saying this for a long time, he’s a person that loves children.
‘I’ve seen him interact with children for a very long time in all these things that we do in Africa so I’m not surprised he’s an amazing father.’