The Royal Family seem to be a family that many of us have been speaking about over the last few years. A handful of royal weddings teamed with plenty of new arrivals have made them one of the most popular families in the world. As if that wasn’t enough, the next generation of youngsters seem determined to become closer to the public than ever before.
However, the Royals are still one of the most prestigious and untouchable families in the world. What if there was a way that we could make ourselves more like them? While many may have believed they could recreate their looks, it seems as though we might have to rob a bank or two if we want to keep up with one of the newest additions. Meghan Markle had the most expensive Royal wardrobes in 2018, but why?
All eyes on Meghan
Meghan Markle joined the Royal Family back in May 2018 and has become one of the most talked-about members ever since. It seems as though everyone’s eyes are on the former actress. As well as the famous wedding shooting her to fame all around the world, Meghan is now busy preparing to become a mom to the next royal baby expected to be born in spring 2019.
However, it’s not just her life as a duchess that has got people talking. Meghan has always been considered a style icon thanks to her years on the red carpet. Now, it appears that her outfits are even more of a talking point around the world – even if they do come at a cost.
The Markle Effect
Appearing in the legal drama Suits helped to catapult Meghan Markle to fame. Now, she was spotted at all the major events in some of the most show-stopping outfits. Was there anything Meghan could wear that would look anything less than catwalk ready? It seemed not. Joining the Royal Family hasn’t slowed down her presence in the fashion world. In fact, Meghan is now said to be responsible for the “Markle Effect.”
It’s said that anything the duchess is spotted wearing will soon be tracked down in the stores before it sells out almost immediately. Many fashion companies are also creating their own look-alike outfits that are more affordable to the rest of the world. To top it off, Meghan has also helped to showcase lesser known brands merely by wearing their designs in the public eye. However, Meghan still seems to enjoy a designer piece or two.
The total costs
The UFO No More blog took it upon themselves to determine just how much all those pieces cost for 13 female members of the Royal Family. They carefully added up every new purchase from their closets, and it wasn’t long before there was a clear winner for the most expensive wardrobe of 2018. Princess Eugenie was one of the many on the list after her threads were thought to cost $39,818.
However, this didn’t include the royal’s wedding dress from her ceremony in October 2018. Kate Middleton was also on the list with her closet thought to cost $85,907. There was only one person left for the top spot: Meghan Markle. This doesn’t even include the famous wedding dress she showcased in May 2018 but does count the jewelry she wore for the big day. So what was it that cost Meghan so much over the year?
A $265,000 wedding gown
It’s believed that Megan’s wedding dress came with a price tag of $265,000. The gown was designed by none other than Clare Waight Keller, and more than 3,900 hours went into stitching the design and bringing it to life. There could be a good reason. Megan’s wedding dress was said to include a national flower from all 53 Commonwealth countries as well as the Californian poppy to represent her home state.
Megan’s look was also complete with a 16-foot veil that finished off the entire outfit. It’s reported that Kate Middleton’s parents were the one to foot the bill for her dress back in 2011. However, it’s stated that Meghan covered the cost of her own gown. Her net worth was thought to be $10 million before joining the Royal Family so it seems as though Meghan would have had plenty of money.
A dress for the engagement photos -$75,000
It wasn’t just her wedding dress that came with a substantial final bill; it turns out that Megan’s gown from her engagement photos in December 2017 also cost a pretty penny. The outfit was designed by Ralph & Russo and was only available through special order. However, it was Meghan’s chance to capture the moment with Prince Harry – surely she should have been able to spend a bit more on a special outfit?
It’s believed the gown would have set her back $75,000. As if that wasn’t enough, Meghan was also the one paying the bill as she was yet to join the Royal Family. Sadly, many believed her choice of outfit was controversial thanks to the sheer top and feathered bottom. Although Meghan was used to wearing whatever she liked, it looked as though there were some royal wardrobe rules still left to learn.
A Givenchy gown worth $18,000
June 2018 was a huge turning point for the new duchess as she appeared at her first joint engagement with Queen Elizabeth II. However, critics had already been quick to judge Megan’s looks. Many pointed out how she would often show her bare shoulders – not something considered to be very royal.
Thankfully, it looked as though Meghan was ready to prove them all wrong after she appeared in this custom-made $18,000 Givenchy gown. There were to be no shoulders in sight for her big appearance.
A dress for the reception – at least $157,000
Most brides use the majority of their clothing budget on their wedding dress, but Meghan Markle definitely had a bit more cash at her disposal.
Even after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on her wedding gown, she shelled out again for her reception dress. The white halter top Stella McCartney gown is estimated to have cost at least $157,000, and received a lot of praise for its elegant style. The dress was so popular that the designer made 46 replicas for lucky buyers to own for themselves.
Playing princess for $12,816
We’re used to seeing the Duchess of Sussex in sleek dresses and suits, but she switched things up a bit for the Australian Geographic Society Gala Awards in Sydney, Australia in October, 2018.
Meghan Markle showed up in a black and white Oscar de la Renta cocktail dress that was estimated to have cost $12,816. Meghan certainly looked stunning in the gown, complete with embroidered birds, a tulle skirt, and a sheer neckline, which gave the illusion that the dress was strapless.
Supporting a pal on Christmas Day – $3,085
Ever since Meghan Markle moved to the UK ahead of marrying Prince Harry, she and singer turned designer Victoria Beckham have been fast friends.
It was reported that the two women bonded over their interest in fashion, and that Beckham gave the Duchess of Sussex advice about what to wear as a Royal. Then, on Christmas day, Victoria Beckham woke up to see that Meghan Markle was dressed head to toe in Beckham’s own designs! These included a navy blue jacket that cost $3,085, boots, and a handbag.
Controversial and expensive – $4,000
One of Meghan Markle’s most controversial outfits was an off-the-shoulder pale pink dress by Caroline Herrera. The Duchess of Sussex generated a lot of discussion when she showed up to the annual Trooping of the Colour in the dress.
It was a risky choice that broke Royal protocol, since it’s unprecedented to bare one’s shoulders at the formal event, and critics said that Meghan was rebelling too much. However, everyone agreed that the Duchess looked absolutely gorgeous in the dress.
Keeping it casual for $2,190
After such a show-stopping outfit the month before, it looked as though Meghan was prepared to take a more relaxed approach in July 2018. The duchess was spotted in a Carolina Herrera denim dress as she arrived at a charity polo match.
Although the outfit is believed to have cost $2,190, Meghan kept things cheaper with her accessories. The $587 Aquazzura high heels teamed with the $88 clutch bag brought the grand total to $2,865. Perhaps not quite so charitable after all?
Brightening the day in yellow for $1,495
It was in the same month that Meghan decided to brighten up her look. The duchess soon appeared in a yellow Brandon Maxwell gown that was believed to retail for $1,495. Although it had a huge price tag, it’s stated the outfit sold out almost as soon as Meghan was pictured in the dress.
It looks as though people will pay anything to look like the duchess – no matter the cost. After all, this could be the chance many are looking for to recreate the looks that stole the heart of a prince.
It looks as though many members of the Royal Family are often spotted out and about in designer threads. Surely they must have designers lining up out the door to hand them their looks?
While many companies will send celebrities their outfits to show off in the limelight, it doesn’t appear they will be getting a royal model anytime soon. At least, not for free. The Royal Family aren’t allowed to accept gifts from anyone, but there might be a loophole they can use.
Try before they buy
It’s said that the Royal Family can request any number of clothes from designers so they can try them on before deciding which pieces they would like to add to their wardrobe. Then, they merely have to send back the ones they don’t need and pay for the others.
All of these trials mean it’s unlikely to see a royal in the same outfit – unless they are taking a leaf out of Kate Middleton’s book. So how do they cover the costs? Plus, what happens to all the outfits?
Reduce, reuse, recycle
It’s unclear as to what happens to all of the clothes that have been worn by the Royals. We have spent years watching as Kate recycles her looks which implies she holds onto most of her threads. That’s not all.
Princess Diana was once one of the biggest style icons in the world, and it seems that she also liked to keep her outfits. Just two months before she lost her life, Diana held a charity auction. Here, she was able to raise a whopping $3.25 million thanks to 79 dresses on offer.
Discovering the answer
Things start to get a little complicated when discovering who pays for all the royal wardrobes. If they aren’t getting sent the outfit for free, then the money must come from somewhere, right?
Thankfully, there is a chain that gives the Royal Family, and Meghan, her wardrobe fund. The Duchy of Cornwall estate was founded by Edward III way back in 1337. Now, the estate and all of its land is handed down through the generations of the family.
Reaping the rewards
The estate isn’t just there to look pretty. No, the Duchy of Cornwall makes the Royals a buck or two thanks to them being able to rent out the land. The profits are them handed to the oldest son of the current reigning monarch.
This means Prince Charles is currently the one to receive the money, and the honor will be given to Prince William once his father takes to the throne. It’s believed the estate currently brings in around $28 million a year.
Handing it out
Prince Charles currently has the honor of using the profits to find any public, charitable, or private activities. However, royal duties are often reimbursed back to any member of the family.
As if that wasn’t enough, Charles also chooses to split any money he receives from the estate between other members of his family. Now, they can use their additional income to spend on whatever aspect of their lives they please – including having fun and expanding their wardrobes.
An increase in budget
It’s rumored that Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton were used to receiving $4.8 million from Prince Charles that they were able to split amongst themselves. However, that has all changed since Meghan joined the family.
Now, the four all receive a reported $6.5 million to ensure that everyone is catered for. The increase is also said to be influenced by the Queen stepping away from the limelight. It looks as though she wants the next generation to be prepared to pick up the reins.
Keeping the costs low
So what is it that makes Megan’s wardrobe so much more expensive than everyone else’s? Kate is known to wear the same clothes over and over again in new looks.
Plus, Princess Eugenie isn’t usually in the spotlight as much as her the rest of her family. It’s also thought that both women would have already had many pieces in their closet thanks to years of growing up in the Royal Family. This wasn’t the case for Meghan who had a lot to learn.
Growing her collection
It looks as though Meghan was forced to purchase an entirely new wardrobe to become part of the Royal Family. However, with a baby on the way in 2019, could all of those maternity clothes see this year’s bill climb even higher for the duchess?
Only time will tell. Thankfully, Meghan already has an extensive closet that she will be able to showcase after becoming a mom. Perhaps she will follow Kate’s lead and reintroduce some of her popular outfits?
A tale of two blue dresses
The cost of Meghan Markle’s wardrobe is markedly higher than that of any other royals. Before Meghan was even married to Prince Harry, she revealed her expensive taste in fashion.
At her first joint interview with Duchess Kate Middleton in February 2018, Meghan and Kate both wore blue dresses. However, Meghan’s dark blue Jason Wu wrap dress cost $1,795, which is more than ten times what Kate’s royal blue maternity dress cost. Meghan’s engagement dress was also significantly more expensive than Kate’s.
Meghan loves Givenchy
Ever since Meghan Markle wowed in a Givenchy wedding gown, she has shown her love of Givenchy designs. She wore Givenchy to her first solo engagement with the Queen, during her first international trip as a Royal, and to the first event that she did on her own.
To top it all off, Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards where she presented the British Designer of the Year Womenswear Award to Clare Waight Keller, the Givenchy icon who designed her famous wedding dress.
Even though there is a lot of talk about expensive Meghan Markle’s wardrobe is, she, like Kate, has been known to rewear certain items. She frequently reuses her stunning pairs of heels, and was spotted wearing the trenchcoat pictured here more than once, too.
Many people also noticed that the dress the Duchess wore to Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas lunch looked familiar – she wore it three years earlier during an interview on the Today show! Perhaps once her wardrobe is more complete we’ll spot her rewearing even more items.
Unlike any Royal before her
Meghan Markle has become a fashion icon since she joined the Royal Family, in part because of her decisions to break with protocol.
She’s not afraid to take risks with dresses that reveal her shoulders, dark nail polish, see through fabrics, and over the shoulder bags, all things that go against Royal tradition. She has also gone out without pantyhose multiple times, something that used to be unheard of. It just goes to show how the Duchess of Sussex is making her new role her own.