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Nigeria’s First Lady Defends Meghan Markle Against False Reports

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Nigeria’s First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, has clarified comments she made after Meghan Markle‘s visit, refuting claims that she criticized the Duchess of Sussexes’ wardrobe.

Tinubu’s office stated her remarks were about Markle’s attempt to connect with her Nigerian heritage and had nothing to do with her attire.

Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, visited Nigeria to support mental health programs and the Invictus Games.

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Nigeria’s First Lady Clarifies Comment About Meghan Markle

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Tinubu has clarified her recent comments following erroneous reports from several media outlets suggesting that her speech directly criticized Meghan’s wardrobe during her visit to Nigeria.

In a statement to AFP Fact Check on May 30, the First Lady’s office stated that her reference to Meghan pertained to the Duchess of Sussex’s quest to connect with her Nigerian heritage rather than her fashion choices.

“She meant Meghan appreciates the people we are and hence her coming here. At no point did she say anything about Meghan’s dressing,” the office explained, per People Magazine.

The confusion comes after Meghan and Harry’s visit to Nigeria from May 10 to May 12 at the invitation of the Chief of Defense Staff, the highest-ranking military official in the country.

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The couple took the international trip to promote their Archewell Foundation’s mental health programs for youth and to support Harry’s Invictus Games. However, they did not meet with the President of Nigeria or the First Lady during their time in the country.

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She Addressed Nigerian Youth Challenges After Meghan Markle’s Visit

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
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Following Meghan’s visit, First Lady Tinubu found herself in the spotlight after a video emerged of her addressing the challenges Nigerian youth face at an event titled “Celebrating the Woman” in Abuja, marking the first anniversary of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

In remarks shared on YouTube, Tinubu highlighted the importance of setting a positive example for future generations and highlighted that Meghan visited Nigeria to reconnect with her roots. Meghan revealed in 2022 that a genealogy test showed she is 43% Nigerian.

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In her speech, Tinubu stated, “The message here is that we have to salvage our children. You know, we see the way they dress; they keep forgetting that Nigeria, we are beautiful. The moment you can see what they showcased on the stage, I said, we are fashionable! We see what is going on.”

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The First Lady’s Comments About ‘Nakedness’ Were Misconstrued

Harry and Meghan attend Day Two of The Invictus GamesThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex watch the Athletics on Day Two of the Invictus Games
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The part of Tinubu’s speech that was misunderstood as a criticism of Meghan was where she talked about how Nigerian culture does “not accept nakedness.”

According to NYP, the First Lady said: “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.”

She continued, “It is not beautiful at all. And they are all beautiful girls, but they should be confident in who they are. They are mimicking and trying to emulate film stars from America. They don’t know where they come from.”

Tinubu then added. “Why did Meghan come here, looking for Africa? That is something we have to take home with us. We know who we are, and don’t lose who you are.”

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The Royal Family Were Allegedly ‘Upset’ At The Special Treatment The Sussexes Received In Nigeria

Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex attending the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen, marking the monarch's 70 year Platinum Jubilee, at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. 03 Jun 2022
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While speaking with The Mirror, royal expert Tom Quinn claimed that the royal family is “upset” with how Nigerians treated Harry and Meghan.

He said, “What’s really upset the applecart is the fact that the Nigerians treated Meghan and Harry as if they too thought this was an official tour — all the signs were there as the couple were greeted with dances, receptions, visits to schools and charities.”

“Everything you might expect from an official royal visit was there — the receptions, the visits to schools and charities, to wounded soldiers and the disabled,” the royal expert continued.

“Meghan and Harry’s speeches and their whole attitude have been designed to give the impression that they are still fully paid-up royals, and William and his father, King Charles, don’t like it one bit,” Quinn concluded.

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Meghan Markle Said Visiting Nigeria Was Very ‘Meaningful’ To Her

Portrait of Meghan Markle smiling
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During their visit to Nigeria, Harry and Meghan engaged in various activities, including attending a polo club and visiting injured soldiers at a military hospital.

In an interview with People, Meghan described the tour as “really meaningful,” emphasizing the significance of such trips in enabling them to focus “on the things that mean so much to us.”

Harry echoed her sentiments, adding, “You know what Africa means to me over the years. It is a very, very special place, and to be able to include Nigeria now, I’m very happy.”

Sources close to the Sussexes also emphasized that the tour was not intended to draw attention to any perceived gaps in the Royal Family’s workload.

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