It may seem like one of the perks of being a royal is all the free stuff — dinners, trips, jewelry, designer clothes. But at least with the latter, that’s not true at all. That gorgeous gown Meghan Markle wore for her engagement photos? She bought that herself. Same with her wedding gown. That’s right. She bought her own wedding gown.
Cosmopolitan did a deep-dive on the royals and their fashion allowance and the results are quite surprising to anyone who thought “freebie” was automatically printed on royal receipts.
They found that when up until Markle exchanged wedding vows with Prince Harry, she bought all of her own clothes.
Nothing was covered by the royal family funds, unless she borrowed Prince Harry’s sweater and that’s sort of cheating! So then, this $75,000 Ralph and Russo gown she wore for her engagement pictures? Meghan paid for that herself.
It was also reported that she paid for her custom Givenchy wedding gown, which cost over $100,000—with some sources estimating it was as much as $265,000.
Also of note, at the time, Markle was worth a cool $7 million (let’s not forget she was a celebrity long before she met Harry), so it’s not like she broke the bank paying for those gowns. Girl’s got money.
The same scenario echoes for Kate Middleton. It’s reported her family paid for her $200,000 wedding dress, which is now estimated to be worth over $400,000. But just like her sister-in-law, the Duchess can also afford her penchant for expensive clothes once in awhile. Says Cosmo:
Even though Kate Middleton is technically a “commoner,” that doesn’t mean her family doesn’t have money. Kate herself is worth around $10 million, and the company her family owns is reportedly worth $5o million. So she can afford designer threads too.
It wasn’t until Kate and Meghan officially became royals that they gained access to the royal checkbook.
According to Cosmo, nearly $5 million was split between Will, Kate, and Harry last year “to fund their public lives, which includes salaries, office costs, and other expenses, like clothes.” The amount went up to $6.5 million to accommodate Meghan once she became the Duchess of Sussex this past year.
You’d think for as famous as they all are, fashion houses would be throwing free designer labels at The Royal Palace, right?
But as Kim Kardashian found out when she tried to send Kate a pair of custom made “Duchess” heels for her 30th birthday back in 2012, royals can’t accept unsolicited gifts.
Related Story: The Surprising Kate Middleton And Kim Kardashian Connection
But what they are allowed to do is to request clothes from designers and send back whatever they don’t wear. Sort of like when you go to your favorite department store and return two-thirds of the items you purchased the next day, once you realize you don’t look half as good in your home mirror as you did in the dressing room. It’s just like that, but without the price tags or bad lighting.