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Meghan Markle, at one point in her life, was just like the rest of us. She woke up every morning and went to school, hung out with friends, and had a good relationship with her parents. She had a life before royalty struck, but with all of the fame she’s showered with these days, it’s easy to forget where she came from. Here’s where Meghan went to high school — and how she paid for it.

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Meghan grew up in the Los Angeles area

Meghan’s parents raised her in the Los Angeles area, and her mother still lives there today. Her father, Thomas Markle Sr., was a lighting director in Hollywood, and he primarily worked on the show Married… With Children. Her mother, Doria Ragland, was a yoga instructor and social worker. For most of Meghan’s childhood, she had a very good relationship with both parents. However, the couple divorced when Meghan was six years old, and Meghan lived with her mother most of her life. But that didn’t stop her from hanging out on her dad’s production set for many years. And when it came time for high school, Meghan attended a private, upscale academy.

She attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles

Immaculate Heart High School is an all-female high school and middle school, and Meghan actually attended both. When she got engaged to Prince Harry, the school wrote a memo about her on their website to congratulate her and also praise her philanthropic work. Upon Meghan’s engagement, the student body also expressed excitement that Meghan had attended the school. The student body president, who spoke on behalf of the young women enrolled at the school, noted that Meghan’s work for women’s rights was inspiring.

Her father paid for her schooling with his $750,000 lottery win

While Meghan did live a nice life growing up, she likely wouldn’t have been able to attend Immaculate Heart had it not been for her father’s impressive win in the California lottery. Thomas Markle Sr. won $750,000 back in 1990, and he used a portion of the winnings to send Meghan to the highly ranked all-girls school. As of 2019, the school costs $16,850 annually to attend. Although it’s not the most expensive private school in California, it definitely isn’t easily affordable. Meghan and her father have reportedly had a rocky relationship for quite a while, but he did step up to take care of her when it mattered. Had he not offered up his winnings, Meghan wouldn’t have been financially able to attend.

She went on to attend Northwestern University

Upon leaving Immaculate Heart, Meghan went on to attend Northwestern University in Michigan. Northwestern is a particularly good school, showing that Meghan is just as smart as she is admirable. Her father was recently spotted wearing a Northwestern University jacket, which shows he still has plenty of love for his daughter, despite their strained relationship. Meghan has thanked him in the past for all he’s done for her. It’s possible that down the road, the two will patch things up and be able to rekindle the close father-daughter relationship they once had.

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