Royal mess! Meghan Markle‘s estranged father, Thomas Markle, and half-sister, Samantha Markle, have been outspoken about her since her relationship with Prince Harry started in 2016.
Most recently, Thomas and Samantha spoke out against Meghan after she addressed their regular public comments about her in an interview with CBS in March 2021. During the sit-down, the Suits alum said, “I grieve a lot. I mean, I’ve lost my father. I lost a baby. I nearly lost my name. I mean, there’s the loss of identity.”
Thomas responded in an interview with Good Morning Britain, during which he said, “She’s pretty much ghosted all of her family, on her mother’s side and my side. So, she really had no one to reach out to. She would’ve had us if she’d kept us. We all make mistakes.”
Samantha, for her part, spoke with Inside Edition about her relationship with Meghan after the former actress’ CBS tell-all. “Depression is not an excuse for treating people like dishrags and disposing of them,” she said.
Meghan did not spend much time during the CBS interview discussing her relationship with her father or half-sister. In a bonus clip from the discussion, she praised mom Doria Ragland, saying she “remained in silent dignity for four years watching me go through this,” referring to attacks from the British media, Thomas, Samantha and the public.
The former senior royal claimed she was not protected from these attacks by the palace. In fact, she accused the palace of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Harry, 36, citing a story about her making Duchess Kate cry ahead of her May 2018 wedding. Meghan alleged during the interview that the Duchess of Cambridge actually made her cry, adding that Kate apologized afterward but the palace didn’t set the record straight.
Thomas welcomed Samantha and son Thomas Markle Jr. during his first marriage to Roslyn Loveless, which ended in 1973. He wed Ragland in 1979, and the yoga instructor gave birth to Meghan two years later. Thomas and Ragland divorced in 1987. The Markles have been estranged from the Duchess of Sussex for years.
Meghan’s strained relationship with her father deepened after she welcomed son Archie in May 2019 and daughter Lili in June 2021 without informing him of her pregnancies.
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Keep scrolling for more of the drama between Meghan, Thomas and Samantha.
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Amid reports that Meghan and Kate were at odds, Thomas weighed in on his daughter's character. He told the Mail on Sunday in 2018 that the Meghan he was reading about in the tabloids wasn't the same one he once knew.
"The Meghan I know was always sweet, kind, generous. She was always demanding but never rude. I don't want to say or do anything to hurt my daughter, but I worry she is going to hurt herself," he told the newspaper at the time.
Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock; MEGA
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After Meghan and Harry announced that they would be stepping down from royal duties in January 2020, the duchess' half-sister shared her thoughts on the decision in an interview with Inside Edition. She told the outlet it was "a slap in the face."
Samantha went on: "I think what is shocking is the lack of consideration for the people involved, the British royal family, the promises that were originally made to honor royal duties and to lead by example."
Thomas, meanwhile, said in a clip for the ITV documentary Thomas Markle: My Story, "With Meghan and Harry separating from the royals, it's disappointing to me because she actually got every girl's dream. Every young girl wanted to become a princess and she got that and now she's tossing that away. ... It looks like she's tossing that away for money."
That same month, Thomas appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the step down. "What they have decided to do is, to me, embarrassing," he said.
Credit: Kevin Manning/MEGA; Shutterstock
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Speaking with The Sun, Thomas compared the royal family to a "cult." He told the newspaper in August 2020, "They are either like Scientologists or the Stepford family. If they hear anybody say anything they just lock the doors. They need to speak up!" (The Church of Scientology has denied claims that it is a cult.)
Thomas added, "They close the door, pull the shades down and put their fingers in their ears so they don't have to hear. Maybe they have a secret handshake too! You cannot ask a question of them — as they won't answer."
Credit: MEGA; INSTARimages.com
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Samantha's memoir, The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister Part 1, featured several alleged revelations about Meghan. Much of the book covered early moments between the half-siblings. Samantha claimed in the book that Meghan and Thomas "were inseparable" after she was born.
She also wrote in her book that Meghan got "whatever she wanted and needed" from Thomas while they were growing up.
"I don't recall ever hearing Dad say no to Meg, about anything," she wrote, claiming that her sister grew more "demanding" of Thomas as the years went by.
"He was paying for Meg to get a great education, and instead of showing gratitude, she was being belittling and controlling," Samantha alleged.
Credit: Shutterstock; Kevin Manning/MEGA
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Following Meghan and Harry's March 2021 tell-all interview with CBS, Samantha claimed the couple weren't honest.
"The truth was totally ignored and omitted," she told Inside Edition one day after it aired. "I don't really know [her]."
Thomas, for his part, said on Good Morning Britain that he disagreed with several things that were said during the CBS interview. Speaking to claims that comments were made about Meghan and Harry's son Archie's skin color and allegations of racist treatment, Thomas said on the ITV show, "I have great respect for the royals, and I don't think the British royal family are racist at all."
He added, "I don't think the British are racist. I think Los Angeles is racist, California is a racist, but I don't think the Brits are."
Speaking specifically about his grandchild's skin color, Thomas noted, "The thing about what color will the baby be or how dark will the baby be, I'm guessing and hoping it's just a dumb question from somebody."
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Thomas alleged that he heard about the birth of Meghan’s second child, Lili, from the media. “No phone calls, I just heard it on the radio,” he claimed to 60 Minutes Australia. “I haven’t spoken to [Meghan] since two days before they got married.”
The former lighting designer added: “I’m not a tearful type … but I’m certainly hurt by a lot of it. There’s a good chance I might never see my grandchildren.”
Credit: James Whatling/MEGA; YouTube
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During an interview with Fox News, Thomas claimed he was going to take legal action to spend time with Archie and Lili: “I will be petitioning the California courts for the rights to see my grandchildren in the very near future.”
He also slammed the duke and duchess (again) for their decision to leave the royal family. “Archie and Lili are small children. They’re not politics. They’re not pawns. They’re not part of the game. And they’re also royal and entitled to the same rights as any other royal,” he said, noting he hoped Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t “punish” his grandchildren for Meghan and Harry’s “bad behavior.”
Credit: MEGA; PA Images/INSTAR
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After news broke of Thomas’ plans to take legal action to see Archie and Lili, Samantha released an exclusive statement to Us Weekly.
“My dad has always been a wonderful father and grandfather to all of his grandchildren, and he has met them all except for Archie and Lilibet. It has been very cruel for my sister to unjustly lock him out of her life from the wedding to present and furthermore to deprive him as a grandfather of one of the greatest joys in life while he is still alive, which is seeing his grandchildren. I support his decision to petition the courts to utilize his naturally granted grandparents' rights to be able to visit his grandchildren,” she told Us. “Grandparents do have an interest in their grandchildren and it's unfortunate that he has to officialize his rights through court rather than my sister doing the right thing and being the humanitarian that she claims to be which inadvertently also deprives the two children of meeting their grandfather before he passes away and at a minimal having a photograph that they can look back on of them with their grandfather.”
Samantha alleged that Meghan is “completely unaware of the short and long-term best interest of her children.”
She continued, “Life is short and she needs to step up to the plate and do the right thing by everybody and allow my father to meet with the kids but the court has a remedy for that because it is his grandparents' right and again I admire him for utilizing his right. At least he is caring enough about the children to give that to them and believe me meeting with their grandparents and having a memory of that even a photographic one is something that children enjoy as they research their lives and try to form their identities in their place in a family. If someone had ever told me that I couldn't meet my grandparents, I would seek them out and I would certainly research and seek out photographs of them to try and understand my own roots. I was fortunate enough to meet my grandparents and I think that Archie and Lili should have the same opportunity and gift.”
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While speaking to Good Morning Britain, Thomas claimed that his daughter "pretty much disowned both sides of her family" after stepping away from her senior royal duties. He went on to call their fallout "ridiculous," asserting that Meghan would have to talk to him "sooner or later."
He continued, "This is way too childish. This is kind of silly, it's time to talk with each other, we're family. ... This is more than just me and my daughter now, this is me and my daughter, her husband and two babies involved now, so it's time to do something. It's time to talk."
Credit: Kristin Callahan/Shutterstock; Good Morning Britain/YouTube
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Samantha reportedly filed a lawsuit against the Bench author, accusing her of lying during her CBS tell-all with Harry one year prior. According to Samantha, their dad covered Meghan's tuition at Northwestern University, despite her assertions that she worked to pay her own way through college. Thomas also allegedly paid for the former actress to attend "elite and expensive private schools" growing up, the lawsuit claimed. Samantha believed that Meghan fabricated details about her past so her sibling and Thomas "could not interfere with or contradict the false narrative and fairytale life story [she] concocted."
Meghan's attorney Michael Kump fired back in a statement to TMZ at the time, arguing, "This baseless and absurd lawsuit is just a continuation of a pattern of disturbing behavior. We will give it the minimum attention necessary, which is all it deserves.
Credit: Kevin Manning/MEGA; CBS
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"None of us have heard from Meghan — that's negligence," Samantha said during an appearance on Dan Wootton Tonight in regards to Thomas' recent health issues. "He’s been through so much. Two heart attacks, a pandemic and now a stroke.”
The Diary of Princess Pushy author also requested that Meghan stop “watching and doing nothing” while her father suffers. “If she can’t find it in her heart, or have the moral conscience to step forward, then shame on her,” she added, before claiming that Thomas “doesn’t have a lot of time” left.
During the interview, the California native elaborated on the alleged lack of involvement when asked if the Suits alum paid for any medical costs. "She sees all of this. I'm getting the feeling that I would be spinning my wheels to try and appear to her heart now," she said.