The royal family's clothing budget is up $2 million since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got engaged
Even the biggest royal family naysayers couldn't help but buy into the effluvia surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's nuptials. The wedding, which was held at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on the 19th May, was reportedly watched by 29 million people across the globe, and it was just beautiful.
From the erstwhile actress's elegant Givenchy gown by way of Clare Waight Keller, to all her meaningful accoutrements - the late Princess Diana's aquamarine cocktail ring being her something blue - it was one of the most memorable days of the decade.
Now, the newly-appointed Duchess of Sussex has been tasked with getting to grips with all the protocols and obligations that come with being a member of the royal family. She's purportedly been undergoing six months of "duchess training" with the Queen's assistant private secretary, Samantha Cohen, but some of her other responsibilities are decidedly more... fun.
Certainly, as you can imagine, duchesses are privy to a pretty amazing wardrobe, and on top of that, they aren't expected to pay for the clothes that they wear to official royal engagements. How dreamy, right?
Prince Charles picks up the tab for the clothes that Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and now, Meghan Markle, wear to royal events. However, that already considerable budget has skyrocketed since Harry and Meghan got engaged back in November.
According to The Telegraph, Prince Charles spent £4.96 million (about $6.5 million) on William, Harry, and Kate's wardrobes last year, compared to £3.52 million ($4.6 million) the year before. That means there's been an increase of £1.43 million ($1.88 million) since Meghan landed on the scene.
However, this change can't be attributed to the Duchess of Sussex alone. Kensington Palace famously didn't start paying for Meghan's clothing until she married Harry in May. In fact, the Suits star purportedly spent almost $30,000 of her own money on clothes for royal engagements through March of 2017.
Even so, the main reason for the budget increase is simple: Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate Middleton have been taking on more and more royal duties in the past year as the Queen begins to cut back. And naturally, the more official engagements, the more money spent on clothes.
The Telegraph reports that Prince Charles pays for William, Kate, Harry and Meghan's sartorial expenses from the income he receives from the Duchy of Cornwall. However, he doesn't have to bankroll anything related to his family actually performing their royal duties - travel costs are paid for by the Queen's Sovereign Fund - which means it's actually funded by taxpayers.
But while Meghan might have access to some of the world's best designers, and not have to pay a penny for any of it, there are certain rules that she has to follow. As you may have picked up on, when out on joint engagements, Meghan errs towards a muted palette of neutral toned clothing, while the Queen opts for her signature brights.
Certainly, at the monarch's 92nd birthday celebrations, Her Majesty wore a bright blue ensemble at Trooping the Colour, while Meghan chose a subtle blush pink Carolina Herrera dress. And at their solo outing to Chester, the Queen wore a lime green outfit, whereas Megan wore a nude Givenchy dress.
You guessed it - it's all to ensure that monarch takes centre stage at public outings - a fact corroborated by fashion commentator Lucas Armitage. Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said "I feel this is a clever styling tactic as it will always work with the Queen's look; she is known and applauded for her use of bright fun colours."
Well, although Meghan Markle may have her entire wardrobe paid for, it's evident that she doesn't have complete agency over her sartorial choices.