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Howie Mandel Jokes Meghan Markle Used to Tell Him She Was Working on ‘Becoming a Duchess’ During ‘Deal or No Deal’ (Exclusive)

Dreaming about Prince Harry way back when? Howie Mandel knew Duchess Meghan pre-royalty, but joked that she had it on her mind while working with him on Deal or No Deal.

Related: Duchess Meghan Through the Years

“No, I don’t think she’ll ever [return to acting],” the TV host, 63, told Us Weekly exclusively of Meghan, 38, at the America’s Got Talent season 14 finale taping on Wednesday, September 18. “Well, she’ll be seen on television, because she’s a duchess.”

Howie Mandel Says Meghan Markle Used to Tell Me She Was Working on Becoming a Duchess
Howie Mandel at the ‘America’s Got Talent’ Live Show Final at Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on September 18, 2019. AFF-USA/Shutterstock

Mandel quipped: “But that was her plan. I used to say to her, ‘Meghan, open the case.’ And she used to say, ‘Not now, I’m doing some work on becoming a duchess.’ It was the master plan, so I don’t think she’ll come back for us.”

Related: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan: A Timeline of Their Relationship

During her time as an actress, the Duchess of Sussex worked as a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal alongside Mandel from 2006 to 2007. Meghan was best known for her work on Suits, but retired from TV and film prior to tying the knot with the former military pilot, 34, in May 2018.

Howie Mandel Says Meghan Markle Used to Tell Me She Was Working on Becoming a Duchess
Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry at the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London on June 8, 2019. Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

While she no longer spends time onscreen, Meghan keeps busy with new adventures. The duchess uses her platform to work with charitable causes close to her heart, not to mention her most important gig yet — becoming mom to her and Harry’s son, Archie, in May.

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“Meghan had mixed feelings about going back to work,” a source recently told Us about the California native’s nervousness to leave the newborn at home while she attended the launch event for her capsule clothing collection with Smart Works on September 12. “She loves motherhood and was nervous about leaving Archie.”

In January, Meghan’s four royal patronages were announced: The National Theatre, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, Smart Works and Mayhew. Each one of the foundations represent something near and dear to Meghan’s heart, including the arts, education, support for women and animal welfare.

Within the next few weeks, Meghan, Harry and Archie will embark on their first royal tour in Africa as a family of three. The trio “will be expanding Harry’s Sentebale charity during the trip,” according to a statement on the couple’s Instagram page.

With reporting by Emily Marcus

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