The First Lady of Nigeria’s office has clarified her speech did not criticise “Meghan’s dressing” but young women in Nigeria.

Meghan Markle clapping

Meghan visited Nigeria with Harry for three days in May (Image: Getty)

Claims that Nigeria’s First Lady criticised Meghan Markle’s choice of clothing when she visited the country with Prince Harry has been branded as misleading by the First Lady’s office.

The office of Oluremi Tinubu told AFP Fact Check she had not criticised “Meghan’s dressing” in her speech at an event titled ‘Celebrating the Woman’.

The engagement was to mark President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office to recognise how women have made significant contributions to all spheres of life.

Instead, the clip, which has been posted on YouTube, emphasised the First Lady’s message to young women trying to dress indecently to copy Hollywood film stars.

Addressing a crowd at the event, Oluremi Tinubu said: “We don’t accept nakedness in our culture. That is not beautiful. It is not beautiful at all. There are beautiful girls but they should be confident to know who they are. They are mimicking and trying to emulate film stars in America.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle posing for photos

Meghan Markle acknowledged Nigeria as ‘my country’ during her trip (Image: Getty)

Ultimately, the First Lady of Nigeria made no direct comment on Meghan’s tour outfits, though she did take a swipe at the Met Gala, which often sees celebrities dressed in revealing clothing, and mentioned Meghan’s trip to Nigeria.

During the Duke and Duchess’s three-day trip to the West African country, Meghan spoke at an event for women in leadership with Nigerian-born World Trade Organization director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The Duchess discussed her Nigerian heritage, referring to the West African nation as “my country” – and being a “role model” for women.

She said: “Never in a million years would I understand it as much as I do now. And what has been echoed so much in the past day is, ‘Oh, we are not so surprised when we found out you are Nigerian’

“It is a compliment to you because what they define as a Nigerian woman is brave, resilient, courageous, beautiful.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sitting down

Meghan Markle is estimated to have spent around £120,000 on new outfits for the visit (Image: Getty)

Meghan Markle is estimated to have spent around £120,000 on new outfits and jewels for her three-day visit to Nigeria ranging from a peach backless dress by Heidi Merrick to a strappy printed dress by Johanna Ortiz.

Royal expert Jennie Bond questioned her decision to show off such an expensive wardrobe during the visit, noting her fashion picks suggest she still feels the need to dress like a royal.

Bond said: “I personally have a bit of a problem with Meghan or anyone, including members of the Royal Family, wearing such expensive outfits and dripping with jewels that are worth thousands and thousands of pounds when you’re going somewhere like Nigeria.

“Personally, I don’t see how you do that, it feels a bit out of tune when most Nigerians are thinking where the next meal is going to come from. But it’s not only Meghan who does that, the royals do as well.”

As of 2023, an estimated 87 million Nigerians live below the poverty line – the second-largest poor population in the world after India.