When Meghan Markle tied the knot with Prince Harry on May 19, she officially ranked as the highest-ascending “briefcase girl” in the history of Deal or No Deal in our opinion! In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if her net worth has exceeded that of any winning contestant from the NBC game show.
Yes, the 37-year-old Suits star did indeed model for the game show Deal or No Deal during its second season while trying to jumpstart her acting career. And now, the show’s host, Howie Mandel, just claimed in a new interview that Meghan acted “Duchessy” while she was on the series.
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“She was slightly duchessy,” he told reporters during a Television Critics Association summer press tour panel on Wednesday, Aug. 8, according to People. “That speaks to who we have now and who we had then. Not everybody will have an opportunity to meet royalty, but these are all accomplished people that have something substantial. They’re not just standing there holding a case — they have careers, they have hobbies, they have families, they’re entrepreneurial. So when somebody like Harry meets somebody who just happened to be on our show, there’s a lot to offer!”
Howie’s comments come just a few months after he revealed that he doesn’t even remember the royal being on the show. “To be honest, I don’t even remember her. I don’t. I don’t,” he admitted to E! News in a previous interview. “I’d like to say I do and if she’s watching, and she’s not right?” He then joked while looking into the camera, “I don’t remember you. I don’t remember you. I’ve seen a lot of pictures and I don’t…”
Perhaps that’s why Meghan left him off the guest list for her special day. “I feel shunned I was not invited. I gave her her start. I’m not gonna watch,” he quipped at the time. “I will not be watching.”
He then joked about how Deal or No Deal set Meghan up for royalty. “I believe that that’s always the previous step to royalty — you’re a case holder and then you’re a duchess,” Howie joked. “I said to her, ‘You start with Howie. You move to Harry. Howie to Harry.'”
While Meghan was on Deal or No Deal, she also did freelance calligraphy to earn money around the same time. And she’s only proud of one of those jobs, it seems. “I would put [Deal or No Deal] in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet,” Meghan told Esquire in 2013. “I went from working in the US Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal. It’s run the gamut. Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing. So if that’s a way for me to gloss over that subject, then I will happily shift gears into something else.”
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Maybe the game show wouldn’t have been such an “or-Deal” if Meghan had actually toted the winning briefcase… like, once. “I didn’t ever have it,” she told the magazine. “I don’t think I did. I was the ill-fated number 26, which for some reason no one would ever choose. I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down.”
Actually, it looks like she was the Briefcase #24 gal, not #26, but we don’t blame her for blotting out that detail from her memory! Suffice it to say, her days spent holding a briefcase are long over. And she’ll likely never have to wear a pair of inexpensive heels again!