First Lady of Nigeria Addresses False Reports She Shamed Meghan Markle's Attire

"At no point did she say anything about Meghan's dressing."

Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, looks on as she attends a Sit Out with Britain's Prince Harry (unseen), Duke of Sussex, at the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja on May 11, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The First Lady of Nigeria is addressing rumors that she shamed Meghan Markle for how she dressed during her recent visit to the country alongside her husband, Prince Harry.

For the uninitiated, on May 25 the First Lady Sen. Oluremi Tinubu spoke at an event titled "Celebrating the Woman" in Abuja, Arise News reported at the time.

During the event, the First Lady gave a speech stressing the importance of setting a positive example for the next generation of Nigerians while also addressing mainstream American fashion.

"We are not having the Met Gala. And everyone, the nakedness is just everywhere, and the men are well-clothed. So we have to do something. Tell them the way it is—we don't accept nakedness in our culture. That is not beautiful," First Lady Tinubu said, according to a video shared online.

"It is not beautiful at all. And they are all beautiful girls, but they should be confident in who they are," she continued. "They are mimicking and trying to emulate film stars from America. They don’t know where they come from. Why did Meghan come here, looking for Africa? That is something we have to take home with. We know who we are, and don’t lose who you are."

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A photo posted by misanharriman on

What followed was a slew of inaccurate reports made by various media outlets, claiming the First Lady was criticizing Markle for the clothes she decided to wear while visiting Nigeria in celebration of her husband's beloved Invictus Games.

According to the First Lady's office, Tinubu was not shaming the Duchess of Sussex or attacking her wardrobe, but rather referring to her "journey to understand her identity and where she came from after Meghan learned she is of Nigerian heritage," People reports.

"She meant Meghan appreciates the people we are and hence her coming here," the First Lady’s office said in a recent statement to AFP Fact Check. "At no point did she say anything about Meghan’s dressing."

During her visit to Nigeria, Markle wore a slew of eye-catching ensembles, including a form-fitting red gown created by rising Nigerian designer Orire.

"It has been a whirlwind 24 hours since we arrived," Markle said during an event, after being asked if uncovering her Nigerian heritage has had an influence on her fashion choices. "I very quickly got the memo that I need to wear more color so I can fit in with all of you in your incredible fashion!"

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A photo posted by misanharriman on

During the same event, Markle also opened up about what it was like to find out she is 43% Nigerian tvia a genealogy test.

"Being African-American, part of it is really not knowing so much about your lineage or background, where you come from specifically," Markle explained at the time. "And it was exciting for both of us to discover more and understand what that really means.”

In her May 25 speech, First Lady Tinubu warned that the older generation has "to salvage our children."

"You know we see the way they dress, they keep forgetting that Nigeria, we are beautiful," she continued. "The moment you can see what they showcase on the stage, I said, we are fashionable!"

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.