Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle was renting a bungalow and driving a leased SUV before her engagement.
Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle isn't a commoner — but she's not yet royalty either.
Sure, the 36-year-old actress and Los Angeles native was earning close to half a million dollars a year starring in the USA Network drama "Suits," but she didn't live in the lap of luxury.
Up until her recent engagement to Prince Harry, Markle rented a three-bedroom bungalow in Toronto, Canada, and leased an Audi SUV. And before she landed the role on "Suits," she was juggling a few side hustles to make ends meet.
Below, take a peek inside the surprisingly relatable life of Meghan Markle:
Markle has starred on the television drama "Suits" since 2011 and earns about $50,000 per episode, according to knownetworth.com and Town & Country Magazine.
But the actress also makes around $80,000 a year from sponsorships and endorsement deals, bringing her annual salary to about $450,000. Celebritynetworth.com estimates Markle is worth $5 million.
"Suits" shoots eight months out of the year in Toronto. During production, Markle rented out a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a private backyard garden in the Seaton Village of Toronto.
Back in 2013, the self-proclaimed "California girl" told Esquire, "I am an adopted Canuck now."
According to Numbeo, the cost of a three-bedroom rental in Toronto, outside the city center, is $1,770 a month, but it's unknown exactly how much Markle was paying.
The couple who owned the home bought it for $508,000 a decade ago, and recently sold it for nearly $1.4 million after Markle moved out.
"I've always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well," Markle told Esquire. "What it evolved into was my pseudo-waitressing job when I was auditioning. I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding."
Pre "Suits," Markle also worked as a briefcase holder on "Deal or No Deal," which she calls a "learning experience ... [that] helped me to understand what I would rather be doing."
Markle reportedly leased an Audi SUV worth around $54,000 while working on location in Toronto.
But according to the Daily Mail, she ended her lease agreement early last September, opting for a chauffeur to get to and from set.
Markle reportedly acted as a brand ambassador for the automaker and received special VIP pricing because of her "Suits" celebrity status.
The cast of "Suits" is close off-screen, Markle told Esquire, and they spend a lot of time just hanging out "playing Apples to Apples and drinking Scotch into the wee hours of the night."
Markle is a self-proclaimed "foodie" who loves to experiment with cooking. She told Esquire she uses her expensive Vitamix blender daily to make everything from pesto to shakes, which she had shipped from LA to Toronto when she moved so she didn't have to buy a new one.
Markle maintains an "objectively more accessible" diet than most celebrities while filming her show, reports INSIDER writer Sara Hendricks, which is mainly gluten-light and green juice-heavy.
A bona fide celebrity, Markle is no stranger to high-fashion events.
Markle tends to favor casual and trendy styles, though, a contrast to her future sister-in-law Kate Middleton's more traditional and formal wardrobe.
Markle has been photographed in affordable pieces from Canadian fashion brands Line, Mackage, and Aritzia. At the Invictus Games, her first official event with Prince Harry as a couple, Markle wore a $68 pair of Everlane skinny jeans and carried their $165 brown leather tote.
Long before she was taking couple's trips with fiancé Prince Harry — on commercial airliners, no less — Markle was already a frequent flyer, writing about her journeys on her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig.
Markle has been around the world and back, documenting much of it on her Instagram. Over the past few years, she's traveled to Spain, Italy, Greece, St. Bart's, Malta, Iceland, and Mexico. Perhaps that's why she chose to rent instead of buy a home in Toronto, so she could splurge on travel.
But as a humanitarian and UN ambassador, some of the trips likely aren't paid for out-of-pocket, like her 2016 trip to Rwanda as an ambassador for Canada's World Vision Clean Water campaign.