Meghan Markle’s net worth is on people’s minds now that she and her husband, Prince Harry, have announced they are stepping back from their duties as senior Royals to become “financially independent.”
Despite that statement, both Meghan and Prince Harry already have significant wealth. Her money derives from her television acting and game show spokesmodel career, as she’s not from a very wealthy family. His money derives largely from the inheritance he received from the estate of his mother, Princess Diana. In addition, Harry also has many of his expenses paid by his father’s properties, the Duchy of Cornwall, income which the couple appears to want to still receive, according to the announcement they put on their new website, Sussex Royal.
A lot of the Royal Family’s wealth is caught up in property that its members could never sell (it’s not like you could ever put Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle on the market, for example.) However, the Queen has other assets and draws money from some of the properties, making her worth about $425 million) Still, even though Meghan and Harry say they will part ways with sovereign grant funding, they can hardly plead poverty.
Meghan Markle Net Worth: $5 Million
On her own, Meghan Markle’s net worth is generally put around $5 million, according to Metro.
Meghan’s net worth is even more if you include her husband’s assets, of course. Prince Harry’s net worth is $25 million by the most conservative estimates, according to Money Magazine. Many estimates peg the prince’s net worth at closer to $40 million, however (that’s £30 million). In 2020, Metro reported that Harry’s wealth is now closer to the high end of that estimate – $40 million.
In short, the Sussexes are already worth a lot of money, especially collectively.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Meghan Markle Brought Some Wealth of Her Own Into the Marriage, Making Money on the Television Show Suits
Meghan Markle’s wealth pales in comparison to her prince’s, of course, but as an actress she was not entirely without means of her own. As a star on the television show Suits, she earned $50,000 an episode, making her annual salary for the show about $450,000 a year. She also had a popular lifestyle blog, although it’s not clear how much money that brought her.
It’s likely, though, that Meghan also earned some cash from deals with brands interested in her social media influence.
2. Meghan Does Not Come From a Wealthy Family
Meghan does not come from a wealthy family; her father was a soap opera lighting director who now lives a low-key lifestyle in Mexico, and her mother is a social worker. Both of Meghan’s parents have struggled with financial problems over the years.
Thomas Markle (from whom Meghan is famously estranged) and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, were divorced when Meghan Markle was only six. In the past, Meghan has written positively about both parents. Meghan wrote about her childhood in an essay in Elle Magazine. In it, she says that her parents met in the late Seventies when her father “was a lighting director for a soap opera and my mom was a temp at the studio. I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her Afro, plus their shared love of antiques. Whatever it was, they married and had me.”
Meghan “spent time on film sets as a child because her father Thomas was a lighting director on the series Married with Children and General Hospital,” reports UK Express.
She has described her father as the “most hardworking father you can imagine” and said, “My father was the lighting director on two television shows as I was growing up,” UK Express reports.
According to UK Daily Mail, both Meghan’s parents have filed for bankruptcy; her mother in 2002 “over a $52,750 credit card bill,” and Thomas more recently. Her father lives in Mexico.
3. The Couple Says They Want Financial Independence
On their new flashy website Sussex Royal, Meghan and Harry revealed they desire to “work to become” financially independent.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” they wrote.
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
On a separate tab titled “funding,” the couple wrote, “In 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made the choice to transition into a new working model. As they step back as senior members of the Royal Family and no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, they will become members of the Royal Family with financial independence which is something they look forward to.”
When the Princess of Wales died so suddenly in a traffic crash in Paris, she made sure that her sons, William and Harry, would be well cared for, bequeathing them both millions of dollars. Princess Diana’s estate is believed to have been about $28 million. Her sons received equal portions of her estate when they turned 30-years-old (Prince Harry is 33 and William is 35.)
That means the princes each received about $14 million from their mother. According to Esquire, Harry “started receiving annual dividends from investments when he turned 25, valued at $450,000 a year” from Diana’s estate. Some estimates put the amount each prince received at $13 million.
The Queen Mother also left Harry an inheritance when she died, but it’s not clear exactly how much. The Royal Family is very private about its finances.
Harry and Williams also inherited their mother’s jewelry collection together.
4. Many of the Prince’s Expenses are Paid by the Duchy of Cornwall But Harry & Meghan Are Giving Up the Sovereign Grant
In addition to the millions he possesses in fortune, Prince Harry has a lot of his expenses paid by the Duchy of Cornwall. The same is true of his father, Prince Charles, and brother, and the Duchy of Cornwall more than $9 million on them collectively recent years. According to the Duchy of Cornwall financial statement, “the majority of staff and official and charitable activities, including the official offices of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, are paid for from His Royal Highness’s private income from the Duchy of Cornwall.”
The Prince of Wales’ annual financial review documents say the estate’s value has been increasing. “The Prince of Wales’s private income comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate comprising agricultural, commercial and residential property mostly in the South West of England,” the site reports. “The Duchy also has a financial investment portfolio. His Royal Highness chooses to use the majority of his income from the Duchy to meet the cost of his, The Duchess of Cornwall’s, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s and Prince Harry’s public and charitable work.”
Prince Charles doesn’t actually own the property in the Duchy of Cornwall. However, “his royal position enables him to receive income from it as the land’s sole beneficiary,” Reader’s Digest reports. According to The Independent, the Duchy “is a private estate that was established in 1337 by King Edward III.” As a result of this, some people, upset by the couple’s announcement, don’t believe they should still get this money if they’re not willing to perform the duties of senior royals.
Meghan and Harry stated on their new website that they are giving up the money they receive from the sovereign grant, but they made no mention of giving up the Duchy of Cornwall income. “While the contribution from The Sovereign Grant covers just five percent of costs for The Duke and Duchess and is specifically used for their official office expense, Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie,” their website proclaims.
They added: “under the current structure and financing arrangements, they are prohibited from earning any income in any form…Public funding has never been used, nor would it ever be used for private expenditure by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who also do not receive any tax privileges.”
They did mention the Duchy of Cornwall estate, writing, “Since the establishment of The Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 95 percent of the funding received for their Office expenditure is derived from income allocated by HRH The Prince of Wales, generated through the Duchy of Cornwall. This provision has been in place since Prince William and Prince Harry first established their offices in support of The Queen, and is the responsibility of The Prince of Wales.”
5. Harry & Meghan Plan to Continue Staying in Frogmore Cottage, an Estate Renovated With Taxpayer Dollars & They Expect to Retain Taxpayer-Funded Security
It was widely expected that the Queen would gift the couple with an estate, and she did. Before their wedding they lived on the grounds of Kensington Palace, near William and Kate, in the small Nottingham Cottage. Indeed, the couple moved to Frogmore Cottage after their wedding, and they say they’re keeping it.
“Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom,” their wrote on their website.
Princess Diana lived at Kensington Palace as do and have other royals, including the late Princess Margaret and Princess Eugenie. According to Homes and Property, “The Queen owns Kensington Palace on behalf of the nation, but costs of maintaining the building come out of the Sovereign Grant.” Some of the royals pay monthly rent to live at the palace, although it’s not clear whether Harry will do so.
As for security costs, the couple wrote on their website: “The provision of armed security by The Metropolitan Police is mandated by the Home Office, a ministerial department of Her Majesty’s Government, responsible for security and law & order.”
READ NEXT: Ukrainian Airlines Plane Crash.