Meghan Markle paid her dues in Hollywood before marrying into the royal family and becoming the Duchess of Sussex. But the wife of Prince Harry reportedly had a princess-like attitude a decade before she met her prince.
Before she married Prince Harry, Markle was best known for her role on the TV series Suits. But before that, the former actress cut her teeth as a briefcase model on the NBC game show Deal or No Deal. The game show featured dozens of gorgeous girls who held the briefcases that the contestants would choose to open.
Host Howie Mandel, who is making the rounds to promote the Deal or No Deal revival, referenced Markle when he spoke at the Television Critics Association Summer Press tour this week. According to People, Mandel told reporters that the show’s suitcase models were more than just pretty faces.
“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 [Prince] Harry meets somebody who just happened to be on our show, there’s a lot to offer.”
Mandel was also asked what the newly crowned royal family member was like in the Deal or No Deal studio, and he joked that she had royal tendencies long before she met Harry.
“She was slightly duchessy.”
Deal or No Deal executive producer Scott St, John said that while Meghan Markle did not appear in a large number of Deal or No Deal episodes, he remembers her brief stint on the hit game show.
“She was not involved in many episodes, but I did remember her. She was a very nice person,” St. John told TCA reporters, according to Fox News. “I can’t say that I saw anything – I actually think all the women on our show are special…I mean, she actually developed a relationship with someone in the Royal Family and there were qualities that he saw in her and she saw in him. That’s all that mattered – it doesn’t matter what we saw.”
Markle previously described the game show gig on Deal or No Deal as a “learning experience.” The future Duchess of Sussex told Esquire, “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.”
Meghan Markle worked on Deal or No Deal from 2006 to 2007 after leaving her job at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time actress. She would later land guest roles on top shows like CSI: NY, 90210, Without a Trace, and Castle before scoring her most high-profile acting job as Rachel Zane on Suits and then retiring from acting altogether.