LIFE

Thomas Markle Weighs In On Harry And Meghan’s News And Sides With The Royal Family

by Angela Andaloro

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were all smiles when they returned to the public eye on Tuesday. It was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first outing since their six-week hiatus.

The hiatus came after they revealed the depths of their anguish at the media’s treatment, predominantly of Meghan, in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. While many thought the couple was returning to business as usual, they were holding on to an announcement that would change everything.

Harry and Meghan have announced their plan to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. The couple wants to work with the rest of the family, who were reportedly blindsided by the announcement, to figure out how that would look.

In the meantime, others are weighing on the decision. Among them is her father, Thomas Markle, another family member whom Meghan’s had to take a step back from.

Ever since Meghan married into the royal family, Thomas has made it his mission to publicly comment on her. He has asserted he wants a relationship with his daughter that the royal family wouldn’t allow. You might think he’d be thrilled to hear that Harry and Meghan have taken this step toward independence. His reaction has actually favored the royal family, however.

Thomas Markle is not one to be quiet when it comes to Meghan Markle. For better or, more often, worse, Thomas has been outspoken on his perceptions of his daughter and Prince Harry ever since the royal wedding. That seems to have been, at minimum, a contributing factor to the disintegration of his and Meghan’s relationship.

In the lawsuits filed by Harry and Meghan against British tabloids, a letter from Thomas was among the biggest offenses argued. The personal letter to her father was published without Meghan’s knowledge or consent. Many also believe it was heavily edited prior to publication to portray Meghan in a negative light.

Thomas has not been alone in tarnishing Meghan’s name publicly. His daughter and Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, has also disparaged Meghan on many occasions. His son, Thomas Jr., has also gotten in on it in the media.

Thomas and his children have had different approaches, however. While Samantha and Thomas Jr. often slam Meghan and place blame on her, Thomas’ blame has fallen on the royal family in many instances. He believes that the establishment has played a role in keeping Meghan away from him.

Since Thomas feels less than peachy about the monarchy, you might think he’d be happy with Harry and Meghan’s recent announcement that the couple has decided to redefine their roles within the royal family.

After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” their statement begins.

We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” they continued.

“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”

They also explained their son’s upbringing factored into the decision. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity,” they wrote. 

“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”

Thomas has spoken out on the statement, and he’s not on the side of things you might think. “I’ll just simply say I’m disappointed,” he told Us Weekly. His simple statement shows a sign of a shift, although it’s unclear where he might be going with things.

Thomas and Meghan were allegedly estranged prior to the royal wedding. She tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and involve him in the wedding, only to feel betrayed when he staged paparazzi photos for profit. Thomas asserts that he and Meghan haven’t spoken since the wedding.

A source close to Meghan said otherwise. “She absolutely loves her father but feels betrayed,” they told Entertainment Tonight. Then there’s the letter at the center of the lawsuits, which Meghan sent her father in August 2018.

“Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces — not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this,” the letter reads in part.

“Something I will never understand,” she adds. Meghan’s pain is palpable.

Meghan later pleaded with her father to stop what he was doing. “If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop,” she urged.

“Please allow us to live our lives in peace. Please stop lying, please stop creating so much pain, please stop exploiting my relationship with my husband … I realize you are so far down this rabbit hole that you feel (or may feel) there’s no way out, but if you take a moment to pause I think you’ll see that being able to live with a clear conscience is more valuable than any payment in the world.”

Thomas hasn’t adhered to Meghan’s wishes, as evidenced by him allowing her private thoughts to be published. His minimal statement on this major news may be an indicator of a turning tide. Is he trying to clean his act up because he thinks that with more independence from the royal family, their relationship could be salvaged? At this stage, it’s hard to say.

What’s clear is that what Harry and Meghan have experienced in the last year has drummed up a lot of emotion for both of them. While Meghan tries to reconcile loving her husband with the life that comes attached to that, Harry grapples with honoring an institution that he felt was somewhat harmful to his mother. He clearly feels that the complications and media scrutiny that come with all of that contributed to her death.

The couple wants to live a different life than those before them, able to thrive as a family unto themselves without turning their backs on everything and everyone they’ve benefited from. It will be incredible to see whether that balancing act can be achieved.