Over the past few months, the public has been introduced to Meghan Markle’s family – and it’s not always made for comfortable viewing.
Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, has barely been out of the papers since the nuptials, thanks to his seemly never-ending tell-all interviews, which include criticising the royal family and relaying private conversations with his daughter.
Just yesterday, the 73-year-old told the Daily Mail that “perhaps it would be easier for Meghan if I died” in a bizarre “nine hour interview over three days.”
This came shortly after Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, made headlines once again after tweeting that Prince Harry is a ‘wuss’ for allowing the Duchess to ‘mistreat everyone who has been close to her’.
The string of interviews has no doubt caused massive embarrassment for the royal family, and Meghan herself, who have not released any statements on the matter to date.
To clue you up, we bring you a breakdown of the Markle drama to date…
While Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha, and her half-brother, Thomas Markle Jnr, had been giving damning interviews about their sister well before the wedding, her father, Thomas Markle Snr, had remained largely faultless.
But not for long.
One week before the wedding, the former lighting director was the subject of a sensational report by the Daily Mail that said pap photos of him had been faked.
The photos showed Meghan’s Dutch-Irish father is various situations such as reading an ‘Images of Britain’ picture book in a Starbucks in Mexico, getting fitted for a tuxedo, doing weights, and scrolling articles about the royal wedding in an internet cafe.
Despite repeated requests for the paparazzi to leave the famously private Mr Markle alone, the paper claims Meghan’s dad worked with the paps to stage the photos and might have even profited from them.
The paper obtained photos and CCTV footage of Meghan’s father arriving at the internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner.
A day later, American celebrity website TMZ reported that he had pulled out of the wedding because of the embarrassment caused by the images.
What followed what a shock announcement that Mr Markle will no longer be attending the wedding, in order to undergo heart surgery.
One month after the wedding, Mr Markle gave a shock, televised interview with ‘Good Morning Britain’ in which he spoke about missing his daughters wedding, conversations with Prince Harry about Trump and Brexit, Meghan and Harry having children soon, and his staged paparazzi photos controversy.
It was revealed Mr Markle was paid £7,500 for the exclusive.
Later in mid-July, in an exclusive interview with The Sun, the Duchess’s father said his daughter is struggling to cope and its showing in her public appearances.
“My thing about my daughter right now is that I think she is terrified. I see it in her eyes, I see it in her face and I see it in her smile.”
“I’ve seen her smile for years. I know her smile. I don’t like the one I’m seeing now. This one isn’t even a stage smile – this is a pained smile,” he told the publication.
Most recently, Mr Markle spoke to Daily Mail saying that he can no longer contact Meghan and hasn’t spoken to her for 10 weeks. He said that it was the paparazzi scandal ahead of the royal wedding that caused the rift in their relationship.
He also said that Meghan was apparently upset with him for telling the press that the royal couple will have a baby soon. “But Meghan’s been saying that herself for the past six or seven years, talking about how much she wants a family. Harry’s been saying it too,” Thomas said.
He then went on to say that “perhaps it would be easier for Meghan if I died” because “everybody would be filled with sympathy for her.”
In fact, Thomas, who has a reported history of heart problems, added “The men in my family rarely live over 80 so I’d be surprised if I had another ten years. I could die tomorrow.”
Samantha Grant – who conveniently changed her name back to Markle leading up to the royal wedding – has also rarely been out of the press with interviews about her half-sister since news of her engagement to Harry broke.
Samantha, who shares the same father as Meghan like Thomas, claimed in a 2016 interview with The Sun that her little sister is “narcissistic”, “shallow” and bent on “social climbing”.
She claimed: “Hollywood has changed her. I think her ambition is to become a princess.
“I think her ambition is to become a princess … The truth would kill her relationship with Prince Harry.”
In September 2017 it was revealed that Samantha Markle had pitched an idea for a book to publishers with the working title The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
Explaining the title to the Daily Mail, Samantha said: “The title is a mockery of the media.”
She went on: “It wasn’t me who called Meg ‘pushy.’ It was the tabloid newspapers. She is not pushy. The book isn’t going to be negative—it’s a warm, witty, honoring book—unfortunately, the negative sing-song has gone round the world.”
In a later interview in December 2017 with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Samantha criticised Prince Harry for calling the royals “the family [Meghan] never had”.
In March, Samantha decided to change the title of the book to A Tale of Two Sisters, claiming the former title was misleading and confusing.
Like her brother, Samantha (rather unsurprisingly) didn’t receive an invite to the wedding.
Upon discovering that 2000 member of the public would be invited to the nuptials, Samantha took to Twitter in April, saying: “Out of respect and humanitarianism, the Markles should be invited if 2,000 complete strangers are.”
She added: “Our uncle, brother, me, best friend of 30 years, nephews. Our issue is not a matter of closeness. Family is family.”
Shortly before the wedding, Samantha Markle appeared on ITV’s ‘Loose Women’ to take responsibility for her father’s faked pap shots, saying : “I’m entirely the culprit. I said to him to show the world ‘I’m getting in shape and getting healthy’ so I suggested it to benefit him and the royal family.”
“It was not money-motivated’, adding: ‘I have no idea [if he was paid] but if he was it would have been a pittance. They don’t pay that much.”
Following the nuptials, Samantha Markle made headlines once again after tweeting that Prince Harry is a ‘wuss’ for allowing the Duchess to ‘mistreat everyone who has been close to her’.
“Harry is a wuss to allow the Duchess of Nonsense to mistreat everyone who has been close to her, especially her family.
“Diana would be ashamed. Stop wearing Meg’s skivvies and bra and take your pants off of her!” she wrote before later saying Harry’s ex Cressida Bonas, was “much more like Diana” and “that’s who Harry should have married”.
Not long after, Markle launched a Twitter tirade after the Duke and Duchess visited the Nelson Mandela exhibition in London.
“How about you pay tribute to your own father?! Enough is enough,” the 53-year-old wrote. “Act like a humanitarian, act like a woman,” she wrote, adding: “If our father dies, it’s on you Meg.”
The Duchess‘s half-sister later appeared on ‘Good Morning Britain’ to defend her Twitter outbursts, saying that she is entitled to talk about her relatives – and that no one would turn down a paycheck.
“We’re not subject to royal protocol. We’re entitled to share that and be open about it… If we can shed some light on issues for the public that’s great, we can enjoy the process,” she said.
“We all have to survive, money makes the world go around – if you want to call that cashing in.”
Thomas Markle Jr
It’s been no secret that there has been bitterness between Meghan and her half-brother Thomas Markle Jr, one of two siblings on her father’s side.
After being vocal about his disappointment at not receiving an invite to his sister’s wedding (aside from her parents, Doria Radlan and Thomas Markle Snr, the bride-to-be has not invited any other members of her family), Thomas’s interviews about his estranged sister only increased.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Thomas Markle Jr claimed Meghan is “tearing the family apart”.
“Meg likes to portray herself as a humanitarian, a people’s person and a charitable person but she is none of those things to her family,” he said.
The 51-year-old continued, “She is giving the greatest performance of her life. She is acting phoney. Once she got into Hollywood she turned into a different person. She’s clearly forgotten her roots and her family.
“There’s a whole different side of her that has started to surface and it’s ugly to see. I’ve read that Meg wants to be like Diana. Diana was worshipped by everyone in the world. She was loved for the right reasons.”
Meghan’s half brother took his feelings one step further in May when he penned an open letter to Prince Harry advising him to call off the wedding.
Sharing his letter with In Touch magazine, he advised Harry that Meghan is “obviously not the right woman” for him, and is a “jaded, shallow, conceited woman”.
He also says that Meghan – who he’s previously mentioned he hasn’t seen since 2011 – will make a “joke” of Prince Harry and the “royal family heritage”.
“It’s not to [sic] late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you,” it reads.
“As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.
“I’m confused why you don’t see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees, Meghan’s attempt to get the part of a princess like a below C average Hollywood actress is getting old.”
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