Prior to her 2018 marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was an actress, most famous for her role as Rachel Zane on the USA legal drama Suits. On Wednesday, Jan. 8, she and Harry announced their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family and become financially independent, a major change that will affect how the couple earns their income and sets up a very small chance that the Duchess of Sussex could step back into her previous profession.
Currently, five percent of the money Harry and Markle live off of comes from the Sovereign Grant, while the other 95 percent is derived from income allocated by The Prince of Wales, generated through the Duchy of Cornwall. Now, the Sussexes will be making their own income while continuing with their charitable endeavors, though it remains to be seen exactly how the pair will decide to handle their finances.
Since becoming a royal, Markle has given up acting, though she did take on The National Theatre as one of her patronages. Now that she and her husband have announced their decision to become financially independent, she could theoretically return to her previous profession if she so chose, though it seems unlikely that she'll do so.
Markle starred on Suits from its premiere in 2011 until the show's Season 7 finale in 2018, which aired shortly before Markle's wedding to Harry and featured Rachel's own wedding to Mike (Patrick J. Adams). Suits ultimately ended in 2019, airing its series finale in September.
Speaking to reporters in 2017, Markle seemed to indicate that she was through with the small screen.
"I just see it as a change… It's a new chapter, right? I've been working on my show for seven years," she said at the time. "So we were very, very fortunate to be able to have that sort of longevity on a series, and for me once we hit the 100 episode marker I thought... I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work I have done there."
Prior to her life as a royal, the 38-year-old was also a blogger, helming her lifestyle website, The Tig, before it was shut down in 2017 after she began dating Harry. Fans recently noticed that documents were recently filed requesting continued ownership of the site until 2021, so it's possible, though seemingly unlikely, that Markle could resume her online presence there.
Markle and Harry announced their decision in a statement on Wednesday, Jan. 8.0comments
"After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution," they shared. "We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment."
Photo Credit: Getty / USA Network