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Here's How Meghan Markle Pays for Her Incredible Royal Wardrobe

Abby Gardner
A breakdown of who pays for Meghan Markle's royal wardrobe and why she is not allowed to accept free clothing from designers.

Although Meghan Markle was already known for her role on "Suits", her activism, and her lifestyle blog, she became an instant international fashion icon when she got engaged to Prince Harry last November. Along with her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, her every fashion move is documented—and when she carries a new bag or wears one of her signature wrap coats, it's almost sure to sell out.

But who's actually paying for her designer pieces? According to People, Harry and Markle are paying for everything themselves at the moment. Unlike Hollywood celebrities who are often gifted clothing by designers, royals are not allowed to accept freebies.

Of course, that doesn't mean Kate and Meghan are out shopping the racks like the rest of us: Often they have assistants calling in items from stores and designers, but once an outfit is chosen, it is paid for in full and those not picked are returned. So yes, that means that the stunning Ralph & Russo ball gown that Markle wore in her engagement photos was indeed purchased—reportedly for around $75,000.

Things will change a bit for the couple once they're married on May 19. Once she is officially a member of the royal family, Markle's clothing expenditures for official engagements will be paid for from Prince Charles' income, which is about $28 million. That money also covers Harry, William, and Middleton's clothing budgets, as well as salaries related to their public lives (like those of their assistants). Just for comparison's sake, People reports that last year the total came to around $4.8 million.

Obviously, that's a lot of money—and although some may disagree with that level of spending, it certainly is a treat for fashion-lovers to track the royal wardrobes (plus, it's great for the designers, including those with lesser-known labels, who are elevated as a result). Now, if only we knew who's designing Markle's wedding dress...

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