Meghan Markle is an official member of the royal family, which means that the Suits alum’s entire life is about to change in a major way. In addition to being thrust into the spotlight in a way that she never has before, Markle will also have to deal with the headache of being a U.S. citizen and all of the tax issues that come with being married to a U.K. citizen.
Though the philanthropist and actress is fabulously wealthy on her own, her marriage to Prince Harry puts her into an even higher tax bracket. With a potential royal allowance at her disposal, Markle and any future children that she might have will never have to worry about money again. You’ll be stunned by the amount of money Markle might get as a royal (page 6), and how much she can have in assets without it becoming public (page 9).
An independent wealthy woman
Prince Harry and the rest of the Windsors are worth an astounding $500 million, but Markle is no pauper herself. Though she will not be returning to her role as Rachel Zane on USA’s Suits, she made an astounding $50,000 per episode, with her annual salary somewhere around $450,000.
It’s also been reported that Markle’s total net worth sits somewhere around $5 million, so she clearly doesn’t need any Windsor money.
Next: Markle won’t be able to escape the IRS even after moving to London.
IRS expects to collect from Markle until 2023
Though Markle is set to become a British citizen eventually, for the first five years of her marriage to Prince Harry, she will remain a U.S. citizen. This means the Internal Revenue Service will still be holding out its hands and expecting her to pay taxes on any income that she earns until 2023.
Markle also has the option of becoming a dual citizen. If she chooses to go that route, then she will have to continue filing taxes with the IRS. In November 2017, The Washington Post reported that the forthcoming royal marriage could “cause tax headaches” and “mundane hurdles” for the royal family.
Luckily, love trumps paperwork.
Next: Markle also boosted her income by doing this.
Markle’s house was sold
Moving to London meant Markle had to put her cozy Toronto pad up for sale. The three-bedroom, two bath house was listed on the market for $1.395 million — a sizable profit that’s sure to keep her comfortable during her transition into the royal family.
The home is located in Seaton Village and comes with wooden floors, vintage flair, and large walk-in closets. It was reportedly sold for 1.6 million in January 2018.
Next: Markle married into millions, but how much?
The prince’s wealth is impressive
Prince Harry seems like a relatively laid-back dude, but that doesn’t mean his finances aren’t in order. The former army pilot is worth upwards of $40 million, which obviously bodes well for Markle.
When the prince turned 30, he inherited $13.3 million from his late mother Princess Diana’s estate. During his days as a pilot, he also earned an annual salary of $50,000. Prince Harry’s father Prince Charles’ estate also takes care of his children and grandchildren’s expenses when it comes to their royal duties.
The Daily Mail reported that between 2016 and 2017, the Duchy of Cornwall paid nearly $9 million to support Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton’s activities and other expenses. With an all-expenses-paid lifestyle, we doubt Markle is even considering an allowance.
Next: Here’s how taxpayers factor into the royal family’s finances.
The British taxpayers will help pay the bills
The couple doesn’t have to worry about monthly rent or utility payments, as they will continue to live within the walls of Kensington Palace. The Sovereign Grant funded by the British taxpayers covers those bills. Parliament is expected to grant the queen over $109 million in 2018/2019 to maintain and perform royal duties.
No doubt Markle and Prince Harry will benefit from this money, as this is what’s used to maintain the Kensington Palace properties and other palace upkeep.
Next: The huge royal allowance Markle may soon have access to
A six-figure royal allowance
Though she doesn’t need the money, Markle could still be privy to a potential allowance now that she is Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex. In addition to his inheritance and expenses that are covered by his father, Prince Harry also receives an annual allowance of $450,000 from his late mother’s estate.
Though a portion of those funds may not be formally allocated to Markle because of tax reasons, we’re sure some of them will go to her lifestyle.
Next: Where else will these two get income from?
Speaking and charity engagements
Part of the deal of being royal is conducting regular public appearances and engagements. While Markle and Prince Harry will not receive an annual salary for their duties, they will be reimbursed for expenses incurred during ambassadorial appearances through the duchy. That organization paid nearly $9 million for Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton’s activities in 2016.
Since shutting down her lifestyle blog, The Tig, and resigning from her post as a World Vision Global Ambassador and a U.N. women’s advocate, Meghan has expressed interest in conducting charitable work through the Royal Foundation. Luckily, she’ll have the vast capital and resources to do it thanks to the duchy funds.
Next: The surprising status of their royal prenup
Royals aren’t huge believers in prenups
With so much money on both sides, it seems like a prenuptial agreement would be the smart thing to do for the royal couple. However, Prince Harry and Markle are doing things their own way.
Apparently, prenups aren’t common in England, so the royal couple did not sign one. U.K.-based family law attorney Julian Hawkhead told Us Weekly:
If there was any drive to do so it would have come from the senior members of the royal family. There has been absolutely no such direction to do this and in fact, I’m reminded of when Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged to be married, the Palace made it quite clear that they had no expectation that there should be any such prenuptial arrangement made. The precedent has therefore been set by Harry’s father and brother, neither having entered in prenuptial agreements before they married.
Next: Here’s how Markle can keep her royal wealth private.
The max amount of assets
Whatever Markle and Prince Harry decide when it comes to managing their money, they’re going to have to be careful if they don’t want their business to go public. If at any point in the next five years Markle has more than $300,000 in assets, she’s going to be forced to file Form 8938, a specific form that details foreign assets, which could include foreign trusts.
This means she would be putting the royal family’s finances in the media, and we doubt very much that Prince Harry’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, will be pleased with that.
Next: The royal family isn’t as rich as you think.
Not as rich as you think
Though the Windsors don’t necessarily need to watch all of their expenses, they don’t top the list of the wealthiest folks in the U.K. In fact, the queen is the joint 319th richest person in the U.K. She shares her position with The X Factor judge Simon Cowell.
No matter what she decides to do, we’re pretty sure Markle is set for life.
Next: The staggering amount the royal wedding boosted the economy
A royal boost to the economy
Markle joining the royal family affects the whole country. The couple’s May 19 wedding was reportedly estimated to boost the U.K. economy $680 million, according to Reuters. The report attributed $500 million of that to tourism, travel, and hotels.
In addition, $67 million was predicted from the sale of commemorative items like T-shirts and hats. Commoners who celebrated the royal wedding were expected to spend more than $200 million throwing parties.
Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.
Additional reporting by Lauren Hamer.
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