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Meghan Markle breaks royal rule as she rocks handmade wrap skirt

The Duchess of Sussex was praised for her touching gesture during a three-day tour of Nigeria

Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
6 days ago
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were welcomed to Nigeria with open arms by individuals and communities on their three-day tour.

Wasting no opportunity to excel in the sartorial spotlight, Meghan debuted a series of sublime looks and immaculate outfits during the brief stopover, from a peachy Heidi Merrick maxi dress to a romantic ruffled gown by Orire. 

No outfit was as poignant as her day three ensemble, however.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Lagos airport for Official State Welcome© Getty/Andrew Esiebo
The royal mother-of-two donned a Caroline Herrera shirt over a traditional Nigerian skirt she had been presented as a gift

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped into their final day in Nigeria hand-in-hand as they arrived at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School in Lagos with Giants of Africa, an organisation that empowers African youth through basketball, education and mentorship.

Meghan looked radiant in a crisp white shirt from Carolina Herrera, keeping her aesthetic relaxed yet sophisticated. The former actress was an ethereal vision in towering Burberry heels, adding 'Santa Barbara' sunglasses from Heidi Merrick and layering with several pieces of precious jewellery from her personal collection. 

Meghan Markle holding hands with child during Giants of Africa at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School o© Getty/Andrew Esiebo
Meghan looked beautiful in the traditional skirt

Most striking, however, was the addition of her beautiful wrap skirt made from traditional Nigerian Aso-Oke fabric. The stunning garment was given to the Duchess as a gift from the Nigerian Diaspora Commission the previous day, and Meghan was quick to incorporate the beautiful piece into her wardrobe as a sign of respect towards Nigerian culture. 

After being asked how she felt to discover her Nigerian heritage earlier in the trip, Meghan said: "I am just flattered and honored and inspired. It has been a whirlwind 24 hours since we arrived, and 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!" 

meghan markle nigeria jewellery© Getty
Duchess Meghan looked so stylish as she visited Nigeria wearing a peachy dress

The Duchess' touching gesture was received well by royal style fans, many of whom were united in their opinion on the mother-of-two's style choice. "Love love love how she received the gift and used it right away," commented a fan on Instagram page @royalfashionpolice.

"Here she brings a mix of her style with the representation of the country that she is visiting! Perfect match!" A third added: "I love that she received this the previous day and immediately wore it. She also made it the focus of the outfit, which I think is very respectful."

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks at a Women in Leadership event co-hosted with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on May 11, 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria. (Photo by Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images for The Archewell Foundation)© Andrew Esiebo
Meghan wore a striking red gown to a Women in Leadership event co-hosted with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

A fourth fan chimed in: "Beautiful! I love that she wore the traditional skirt, her ancestors would be proud." Meghan's choice to wear a gifted garment is a touching but unique one, especially considering the strict rules around the royal family accepting gifts. 

What are the rules around the royal family accepting gifts?

The policy, last updated in 2003, states: "The fundamental principle governing the acceptance of gifts by Members of The Royal Family is that no gifts, including hospitality or services, should be accepted which would, or might appear to, place the Member of The Royal Family under any obligation to the donor. 

In this regard, before accepting any gift, careful consideration should always be given, wherever practicable, to the donor, the reason for and occasion of the gift and the nature of the gift itself.

Harry and Meghan gifted T-shirts from Giants of Africa© Getty
Harry and Meghan received over 20 gifts on their Nigeria trip

"Royals can accept gifts from government bodies, trade associations, guilds, civic bodies, the armed services, charities or similar organisations in the UK, especially if they have an established connection or patronage.

The royal family are only allowed to accept gifts from members of the public if the value is less than £150, which is why you occasionally see royals accepting flowers, chocolates or homemade gifts while on walkabouts or official engagements. 

Considering Meghan and Harry officially stepped back from royal duties in 2020, the rules do not apply to them and they are free to accept gifts as they wish to.

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