• The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could become billionaires after leaving the royal family, according to wealth expert Robert Watts. 
  • Watts, who is responsible for compiling the annual Sunday Times Rich List, said the couple could one day make it on the list, which shows the 1,000 wealthiest residents in the UK.
  • However, he added it could take Prince Harry and Meghan Markle more than 10 years to make the milestone achievement.
  • "You can't underestimate the international appeal of being a royal — and the appeal is even bigger in the US, Canada, and the rest of the world," Watts told Hello! Magazine.
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Since announcing their plans to step back from their roles as senior royals and become financially independent, Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle's bank account has been the subject of much speculation.

While Harry's inheritance and Meghan's former earnings as an actress are certainly helpful as they map out their own plans away from the royal family, it's the couple's future projects (and their earning potential) that have become the focus.

Robert Watts, who is responsible for compiling the annual Sunday Times Rich List of the 1,000 wealthiest residents in the UK, told Hello! Magazine he believes the Duke and Duchess will land a spot on the list in the coming years.

"You can't underestimate the international appeal of being a royal — and the appeal is even bigger in the US, Canada and the rest of the world," Watts told the publication.

"The couple already have an eight-figure fortune, perhaps one as large as £20 million," he went on to say. "But I think it's possible that in ten years' time, Prince Harry and Meghan could make it on to the Sunday Times Rich List with £500 million and £1 billion in the longer term."

Last year's top 20 on the Rich List had a net worth of over £6 billion, so Harry and Meghan still have quite a few years of work ahead of them if they plan to top the list.

But even so, Watts has already compared the Duke and Duchess' commercial appeal to that of Victoria and David Beckham, who appeared on the 2019 list with £355 million.

David and Victoria Beckham.
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Harry and Meghan have been keeping the public up-to-date with their plans on their website, where it was most recently revealed that they will not use the term 'Royal' or 'Sussex Royal' in any capacity once the transition takes full effect on March 31. 

Earlier this month, Harry and Meghan were said to have earned money from a speaking engagement at the JP Morgan Alternative Investment Summit.

The couple have also announced their intentions to continue to support the Invictus Games Foundation and The Endeavour Fund, in addition to founding a new "non-profit entity."

But should Harry and Meghan earn a spot on the Sunday Times Rich List, they won't be the only members of the royal family on it. The Queen has appeared regularly on the annual roundup, taking the 356th spot on the 2019 list with £370 million.

And the British monarchy as a whole was estimated to be worth $88 billion by Forbes in 2017. Sources of their net worth were said to come from art, jewelry, property, and brand value, in addition to the Duchy of Cornwall account (which it was reported that Prince Charles uses to help support both Harry and Prince William).

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