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British Royal Family

Meghan Markle's divorce back-up plan revealed: A $25 million New York City escape

''She’s got an entire back-up plan arranged for when and if her and Harry call it quits.''

With so much drama erupting around her, it would be no surprise if a shrewd woman like the Duchess of Sussex had a backup plan should her new life as a princess go up in smoke.
And sources tell Woman's Day that's exactly what mum-to-be Meghan was secretly plotting when she travelled to New York City under the guise of hosting an intimate baby shower in February.
"Meghan's been quietly setting up her other life for the last couple of months, and thanks to her close inner circle, she's got an entire back-up plan arranged for when and if her and Harry call it quits and her life as a royal falls apart," an insider spills.
Meghan has a full back-up plan in place, should things turn sour with Prince Harry. (Image: Getty)
Woman's Day understands her "little party" and dinner with friends while she was in New York was an ulterior motive to get the cogs in motion.
"Really, she was house-hunting," reveals our insider.
"She was using the front entrance of her hotel to make sure fans caught her every move – or thought they did. But in reality she was sneaking off with her close friends Serena Williams and Amal Clooney via a secret exit to scout out apartments nearby."
And now, it seems the eight-months-pregnant duchess has found her dream divorce home in the heart of the Big Apple, should she ever part ways with Prince Harry, 34 – who she's been married to for less than a year.
WATCH: Meghan Markle was in Horrible Bosses, did you see it? Story continues after video...
"The apartment is in New York's Upper East side – an area Meghan's deeply fond of," says a well-placed source.
"It will work well for her because it's only a six-hour flight to London if she and Harry have shared custody of the baby. It's also a good base, so she can easily visit her friends and family in Toronto and LA."
It's believed Meghan fell instantly in love with a four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment on the 21st floor of the ultra-exclusive 212 5th Avenue building – which would set her back an eye-watering $25.4 million.
"Meghan knows she can't write a cheque for a place like that without alarming her husband," says a source.
"She doesn't even have anywhere near that much in her own bank account. But she's had advice from top-ranking divorce lawyers that not only would she get a huge payout given she's the mother of Harry's child.
"But as a royal divorcee, the commercial opportunities for her if she returns to the States as an actress, brand ambassador and public speaker would make her millions and millions."
Meghan's background in Hollywood would provide her ample security. (Image: Getty)
Instead, 37-year-old Meghan is relying on the help of her incredibly wealthy friends.
An insider speculates that A-listers Amal and George Clooney, with their net worth of $714 million, and tennis ace Serena Williams, whose $250 million bank account continues to skyrocket, have offered to buy the apartment.
The purchase will be with the understanding that they'll lease it to high-profile but trusted friends until the time Meghan should split from Harry and want to buy them out of their contract.

The royal family is in the dark

"It's a genius plan," says the source. "Meghan's name isn't on the public records as an owner, which means she can keep the royal family in the dark."
All the secret real estate wheeling and dealing seems to be the real reason why Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, 62, refused to attend her daughter's baby shower.
"Doria knew what was going on and didn't want any part of it," says a friend.
"She's encouraging Meghan to be strong and brave, and stick by the husband she made a vow to."
But some London-based Meghan supporters say the plan isn't as callous as it looks.
"She's coping with backlash like no one could have predicted," says our source.
"It would be terribly sad as Harry fell head-over-heels in love with her, but so far even his best efforts haven't been able to keep her from facing a storm of scandals."
Prince Harry's efforts to keep Meghan out of the media spotlight haven't gone to plan. (Image: Getty)
Royal watchers have noted the prince appears to be struggling in recent weeks to deal with all the drama surrounding his marriage.
"He was there in body, not in spirit," an onlooker at a recent public appearance said of Harry.
"He wasn't as tactile as he usually is with Meghan.
Harry seems distant, like he has a lot on his mind."

Is Meghan using Amal Clooney as her divorce lawyer?

Meghan knows she'll need the world's top legal team behind her to get the best divorce deal should it end that way – and who better to ask than her best friend, George Clooney's wife Amal?
"Amal has already made it clear that if Meghan needs legal advice, she can go to her anytime," spills a source.
George Clooney's clued up lawyer wife Amal would provide Meghan with valuable advice. (Image: Getty)
And while Amal, 41, isn't a divorce attorney, she does specialise in international law – and has promised to assemble the best team for Meghan, in which she'll personally serve as special counsel.
"It would become a very complicated trans-Atlantic situation, especially if Meghan wanted to leave the United Kingdom with her child and relocate back to America. Amal's skills would come in very handy," says the source.
"While divorce is the last possible option for Meghan, she knows going up against the monarchy and a hostile British public would be an almost impossible task, but she feels reassured knowing that Amal would be by her side as both a friend and a professional."

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