Meghan Markle's Net Worth Was Vast Long Before She Met Prince Harry

Who knew Suits royalties could sustain actual royalty?

Normally, members of the British royal family live off of millions of dollars in U.K. taxpayers' money, private assets, and inherited wealth, all of which is disbursed to each "working royal" in accordance with longstanding laws and policies. But when a member of the family is no longer an official part of its public face, they're no longer entitled to this immense financial privilege—meaning that, since stepping back from the royal family a year ago, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had to completely support themselves.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have taken this responsibility seriously: Last September, they reportedly repaid the $3 million in public funding that had been used to renovate Frogmore Cottage, their residence on the royal Windsor estate. They've also begun to establish their own partnerships with various private companies to help fund their continued philanthropic work, in addition to relying on the sizable inheritance left to Harry by his late mother, Princess Diana. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that Meghan was independently wealthy before becoming a royal, thanks to the years she spent as a working actress. Here's where the duchess' net worth currently stands following her dizzying journey from private citizen to acclaimed television actress to working royal, and back again.

Meghan built a comfortable nest egg with her Suits money.

Back when she was just an actor you vaguely recognized from the USA Network or that cameo in Horrible Bosses 2, Meghan was making about $50,000 per episode of Suits, for an annual salary of about $450,000, Fortune reported in 2017. Between her more than 100 episodes of the series and her handful of smaller roles in various films, she's estimated to have gone into her 2018 marriage with about $2 million in onscreen earnings, according to Forbes.

And those network TV checks just keep rolling in: Not only does Meghan receive royalties every time her episodes of Suits are aired on USA or the NBA Peacock streaming service, but she's also paid out by Amazon Prime and Netflix, the show's streaming homes in the U.S. and U.K., respectively, whenever subscribers settle in to binge the series. According to an August 2017 report from The Sun, it's those residual checks that helped Meghan and Harry cover a down payment on their new $14.7 million mansion in Montecito, California, last year.

meghan markle suits

Meghan Markle in Suits.

(Image credit: USA Network)

She had a solid side hustle as an influencer.

Long live The Tig! For those who don't remember or weren't inhaling every bit of news about the soon-to-be American princess back in 2017 (could never be me!), Meghan used to run a blog called The Tig. Unfortunately, she shut it down soon after her romance with Harry went public, but not before sharing some truly iconic takes on her idea of a perfect bachelorette weekend (no "headbands of the phallic persuasion" here) and her undying love of hot sauce. Between any monetization scheme and endorsements attached to her popular blog and various sponsored posts on her social media feeds, Meghan was estimated to have earned about $80,000 a year from endorsement and sponsorship deals, Business Insider reported before her wedding.

She also dabbled in fashion design.

As if juggling her steady acting job, influencing deals, and, you know, dating a literal prince weren't enough, Meghan also collaborated on two fashion collections with Canadian retailer Reitmans and served as a brand ambassador for the store. When her second capsule collection launched in 2016, shortly after rumors of a romance with Harry began to crop up, Meghan described the line as "Aspirational Girl Next Door," noting that it was "totally an extension of my personal style" and that she'd been fully involved in the design process.

Her partnership with Reitmans ended in early 2017. Though it's unclear how much she earned from that particular deal—a sum that was likely encompassed within the $80,000 she reportedly received each year for endorsements—between all of her various forms of income, Meghan was estimated to have joined the royal family with a total of about $5 million to her name.

Now, she's back to content creation.

After a couple of years as a publicly funded philanthropist, now that she's back to supporting herself, Meghan has returned to her original career as a content creator. She and Harry announced a three-year deal with Spotify last December to produce podcasts through their Archewell Audio brand; the deal is believed to be worth between $15 million and $18 million, per Forbes, which could garner the couple about $3.5 million in post-tax earnings per year once they start rolling out the podcasts.

And in September, Harry and Meghan were reported to have partnered with Netflix to form a production company that will create "inspirational family programming" that "informs but also gives hope." That deal was expected to clock in at around $100 million, though some reports placed that number as high as $240 million. 

In total, the Sussexes' joint net worth is currently estimated to be somewhere around $10 million, according to Forbes.

Andrea Park

Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.