Another member of the Markle family is tying the knot! Duchess Meghan’s estranged half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., announced that he is engaged to his girlfriend of two years, Darlene Blount.
The window fitter, 52, told the Daily Mail on Tuesday, January 8, that he proposed to Blount, 38, at a park near their home in Grants Pass, Oregon, in early 2018 and celebrated with a New Year’s Eve party. The newly engaged couple have set a wedding date in March and plan to invite Meghan, 37, and Prince Harry.
“Absolutely I think our wedding will bring the family closer together,” Thomas Jr. told the U.K. newspaper. “It’s hopeful that if Meghan and Harry came and my father [Thomas Markle Sr.], Meghan and Harry could spend some time with him and that would be good.”
He added, “Starting out the new year by bringing our family closer together is definitely on the to-do list. It’s very important. [The wedding] would be a perfect time for Meg to get together with my dad — who is her father as well — and just put all the past behind everybody and move on and be a closer family again. My dad would really enjoy that. Possibly it will bring the family closer — especially if everybody shows up.”
Thomas Jr. and Blount, who has an 8-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, were introduced by a mutual friend shortly after Meghan and Harry, 34, confirmed in November 2016 that they were dating. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are expecting their first child in the spring, wed in May 2018.
The Suits alum has been estranged from her family, except for mother Doria Ragland, for years. Thomas Sr., 74, previously revealed that he has not spoken to Meghan since she married the prince. He did not attend their wedding after claiming days earlier that he underwent heart surgery. The former TV lighting director and his daughter Samantha Markle, who is Meghan’s half-sister, have since made headlines for bashing the royal family in various TV interviews.
“Meghan is so upset over Thomas,” a source told Us Weekly in July 2018. “She would like to speak to him, but there is no trust there anymore. And it doesn’t seem like it could ever be rebuilt. The damage is done.”