Before she moved across the pond, Markle was earning close to half a million dollars a year starring in the USA Network drama "Suits," plus a five-figure income from endorsement deals and sponsorships. Her total net worth is estimated to be R62 million.
That's a sizable contribution to bring into any marriage, but when she marries Prince Harry, their combined net worth will be more than five times that. Prince Harry's net worth is at least R310 million and as much as R497 million, according to estimates from Wealth-X.
Here's where all that money comes from.
Along with Prince William and Kate Middleton, Harry receives an annual seven-figure allowance from his father and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, which is used to cover expenses like travel and wardrobe. Between April 2016 and March 2017, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Harry split nearly R62 million in allowance from their father, according to an annual review released by Clarence House.
Prince Charles derives that money, in part, from a private estate called the Duchy of Cornwall, which has funded the royal family's public and private lives for nearly 700 years. The estate provided a total of R358 million, including Harry and William's allowance, to Prince Charles and his wife Camilla between between 2016 and 2017.
Since age 21, Harry and William have also been receiving a R5 million a year investment profit from Princess Diana's estate, which they pay taxes on to the UK government. They received a sizeable inheritance from their late mother estimated to be around R124 million each, which each prince gained access to on his 30th birthday. Plus, during his 10 years in the British Royal Air Force, Harry earned an annual income of R621,000.
Despite a massive fortune, Markle and Harry reportedly will not sign a prenuptial agreement before their wedding, reported Business Insider's Shana Lebowtiz.
A prenup is a smart choice for most couples who have sizable assets they want to protect in the event of a divorce, but for Harry — and William, who chose to forgo a prenup with Middleton — it doesn't make much sense. The princes likely don't have much property of their own, as the most valuable national treasures like the Crown Jewels or the Tower of London are part of the royal collection held by the Queen.
Still, the merging of Harry and Markle's finances could "cause tax headaches" and create some "mundane hurdles" for the royal family, as The Washington Post first reported in November.
Markle is a citizen of the US and is purportedly living in the UK on a family visa, according to the BBC. If she eventually becomes a dual US-UK citizen, Markle will have to continue filing her taxes each year with the IRS. If she has more than R3 milliono in assets at any point during the year, she will have to file a specific form that details foreign assets, which could include foreign trusts, subjecting the royal family "to outside scrutiny," according to the Post. But ultimately there are a lot of factors that come into play.
"The key for Meghan and her advisors would be to figure out what type of income she will be getting," Avani Ramnani, director of financial planning and wealth management at Francis Financial, told Business Insider. "Will this income be from the investments of a trust, or 'wages' for any work that she does, or any other type of income? Sometimes, getting one form of income is more advantageous than another."
Kensington Palace will cover the cost of the wedding — aside from Markle's dress — which is expected to cost the royal family upwards of R558 million, most of which is allotted for security.
That won't be a huge cost burden for Queen Elizabeth, who is of course the wealthiest member of the royal family with an estimated net worth of R6 billon as of 2016, according to Forbes.