Meghan Markle’s 2018 wardrobe has been valued at an eye-watering $500,000—and that figure doesn’t even include the cost of her showstopping Givenchy wedding gown.
The figures, compiled by fashion blog UFONoMore and based on the retail prices of her clothes choices, will reopen the controversy over Meghan’s clothes budget, as it will be widely assumed that she is being gifted clothes or supplied with at least some of her items at highly favorable prices.
This contravenes a long-standing royal rule, established by the queen, to accept no freebies.
In truth, this principle has been under attack for many years—minor royals are notorious for seeking discounts or freebies from British designers large and small.
But the senior royals have always sought to be above reproach when it comes to clothes spending. Kate buys her own clothes for her and her kids, often chooses mid-range or high-street brands and seeks to re-use and re-wear as often as possible. Although Charles’ extremely expensive Savile Row suits come in for less scrutiny, he is also believed to not seek discounts.
However, in other areas the royals are known to accept discounts. For instance, they pay well below market rate for their fleet of Jaguar Land Rovers and have accepted free cars from the firm.
The blog behind the claims says Meghan’s new clothes this year are valued at six times the amount of Kate’s.
Kate and Meghan’s wardrobe budgets are both officially funded by Prince Charles’ estate.
It seems unlikely, however, that Prince Charles’ accountants would willingly sign off on half a million dollars on Meghan’s clothes, which raises the possibility that she is indeed accepting freebies or discounts.
Meghan certainly has close links with the fashion world. It was interesting to note that during her speech at the British Fashion Awards she said from the stage that it was “nice to see so many familiar faces, many of you I’ve known for quite a while and a lot of you that I’ve been able to meet in the past year.”
This line left many royal watchers scratching their heads—has Meghan really been befriending all the leading lights in British fashion?
Her half-million-dollar wardrobe suggests that perhaps she has.
UFONoMore, which stands for Unidentified Fashion Objects, calculated the cost of some 1,661 new pieces debuted in 2018 by royals in Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Norway, and the Netherlands, and their findings suggest Prince Harry’s wife wore clothes worth more than twice as much as her closest contender, Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary.
UFONoMore included in Meghan’s calculations a Cartier Reflection wedding bracelet and earrings. The earrings and bracelet carry a hefty price tag of $233,000. But even if these are discounted, her apparel value totals $285,574—which still has her in the top spot.