Meghan Markle's Most Inappropriate Deal Or No Deal Outfits

Long before Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was judged for her looks and style choices by the British press and commoners, she was critiqued weekly by TV viewers. So, in many ways, Meghan's "Deal or No Deal" days should have set her up for what was to come in the future. However, what the regular US game show fan deemed as an inappropriate outfit would have proved utterly scandalous for the British public and snobby elite.

The royal family has to follow numerous antiquated, strict rules regarding dress code and public etiquette, such as always wearing pantyhose, never showing bare shoulders, always wearing below-the-knee hemlines, and even sitting in a fixed position. But Meghan regularly broke the rules, including (gasp!) once wearing a pair of ripped denim jeans. So, one can only hope that there was no way for Buckingham Palace to tune in to "Deal or No Deal" back in the day because, before Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, married Meghan, her outfits would have been deemed a monarchial monstrosity.

Meghan opened up about her days as a "briefcase girl" on an episode of her "Archetypes" podcast in October 2023. And the dress code sounded as restrictive and enforced as the Firm's. Still, this time around, the hemlines were decidedly above the knee, bare legs were essential, and there was plenty of naked shoulder and padded bra action occurring. So, look away, Harry, we're diving into some of Meghan's most inappropriate "Deal or No Deal" outfits.

Meghan's leggy little red dress

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's most inappropriate "Deal or No Deal" outfits would have hardly raised an eyebrow amongst TV viewers used to tuning in each week to watch the winners, losers, and eye candy "briefcase girls" or "bimbos" as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex claimed producers turned her and the other models into. However, outside the studio, Meghan's outfits would likely have raised more than an eyebrow or two, especially the flirty little red dress she wore for her show promo photos in 2006.

In the pictures, Meghan shows off her long tan legs and plenty of cleavage in a thigh-skimming red mini dress paired with strappy heeled sandals and clutching a silver briefcase. However, Meghan finds this look somewhat problematic now.

"There was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like," she told Paris Hilton on her podcast, "Archetypes," in October 2023. "It was solely about beauty and not necessarily about brains." Meghan further claimed she and the models would have to stand in line to get fake eyelashes and hair extensions added and their bras padded before heading on stage, in addition to undergoing weekly spray tan sessions. "When I look back on that time, I will never forget this one detail," Meghan revealed, claiming there was a female showrunner who couldn't pronounce her name but would yell at her before she headed on stage, "Markell! Suck it in," referring to her holding her stomach in.

Meghan's orange $5 satin halterneck

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, appeared on "Deal or No Deal" throughout Season 2, appearing in 34 episodes between 2006 and 2007 as "briefcase model" number 24, 11, and 12. Still, despite her nearly year-long stint, she failed to make much of an impression on the host, Howie Mandel. Back in June 2019, during an episode of People's "Reality Check," while joking about his influence on the lives of people who worked on the show and went on to achieve great things, Mandel admitted he'd clean forgotten the royal-to-be. "The thing is, I didn't remember Meghan," he confessed. "When all the hoopla started, I remember $5, but I don't remember Meghan."

In Mandel's defense, the $5 scene was pretty epic, and the result was more memorable than Meghan, who just opened the briefcase that displayed $5, allowing the contestant to win a lot more money from the original one she had chosen. That said, Meghan's inappropriate outfit was pretty notable: a burnt orange sateen mini dress/camisole-type number with a cleavage-bearing halter neck.

Funnily enough, Mandel had a very different recollection of Meghan when he appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" a year before, in June 2018. "Of course, of course!" he replied when Ellen asked him if he remembered Meghan from the show. "I do, I do remember her, and I said, I remember saying, 'open the case' and all the girls saying 'who?' and I said the one who's going to be the future duchess."

Meghan's blue sateen bra padded chemise

One of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's gloriously inappropriate "Deal or No Deal" outfits, which she wore on the show along with the 25 other identically clad "briefcase girls," was what looked like a blue sateen chemise with a clearly padded bra section to allow for maximum cleavage.

There's no escaping the glaring sexual objectification at play as the legion of tan and leggy models stroll down a staircase, briefcases in hand, wide toothy grins fixed firmly in place, at the beginning of "Deal or No Deal." The scanty outfits they're clad in definitely don't help to make the scenario less problematic. Still, each to their own, Miss World is still going strong. However, at least its models get to say something during the competition — albeit not always for the best.

Given the perfect makeup, skimpy and identical clothing, and lack of words uttered, it brings to mind "The Stepford Wives," and Meghan definitely felt she wasn't reaching anywhere near her full potential. "I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn't the focus of why we were there," she admitted on her "Archetypes" podcast in October 2023. "I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach, knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.

Meghan's pale green busty butt-skimming dress

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, would have kept the British tabloids in headlines for months if she'd stepped out as a member of the Firm in one of her most inappropriate "Deal or No Deal" outfits: a butt-skimming little green dress with padding-enhanced cleavage. Still, Meghan managed to keep her toothy smile fixed while holding her number 24 briefcase in super-high heels, a multitasking skill she was undoubtedly proud of. Well, not so much.

"I would put that 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 U.S. 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." She said what made it worse was her suitcase was rarely picked. She told the outlet: "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 elaborated during the October 2023 episode of her "Archetypes" podcast. "I didn't like being forced to be all looks and little substance," she explained. "And that's what felt like me at the time. Being reduced to this specific archetype." Basically, an anonymous smiling briefcase girl with just a number instead of a name.

Meghan's 'sexy' Santa ensemble

One of Meghan Markle's most inappropriate "Deal or No Deal" outfits was the sexy Santa ensemble she was forced to wear for the 2006 Christmas special. It comprised a tiny, strappy, little fluffy red dress with white fake fur trimming. Thankfully — or maybe not, given the circumstances — Meghan wasn't forced to disguise herself with a bushy beard and glasses.

"Access Hollywood" went backstage. They filmed Meghan and others blowing kisses and chanting, "Merry Christmas!" At least the "briefcase babes" got to talk a little, though; they said how cold they were and babbled about Christmas gift ideas. Excitement surged when Big Bird entered the studio, and the "real Santa" looked as if Christmas had come early, sitting, surrounded by semi-clad models.

It's easy to see why Meghan doesn't fondly remember her "Deal or No Deal" days. However, some of the other models were less than happy with her criticisms of the show. Still, Howie Mandel, who may or may not remember Meghan appearing on the series, came to her defense. "I don't think Meghan is complaining. I think Meghan just said she wanted to do more. It wasn't fulfilling for her," he told Us Weekly in October 2022. "I don't know why there is a big hoopla, except I have to say that me standing there with 26 women staring at me made me feel like a bimbo."