Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, is a lighting director who divorced her mother when Meghan was six. He’s was supposed to see his daughter marry a prince, but now is not going to the wedding due to a heart attack and staged photo scandal.
Meghan confirmed her dad won’t be going to the wedding, and he didn’t go.
Thomas Markle told TMZ “he meant no harm to Meghan or the Royal Family when he made a deal to allow a photo agency to take pics of him getting ready for the wedding.
He says he had a reason and it was not principally about money.” He told the news site that photographers had taken unflattering photos of him, making him look badly in the past.
According to TMZ, Thomas Markle told the entertainment site that “he suffered a heart attack 6 days ago but checked himself out of the hospital so he could attend the wedding. He’s now decided not to go because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.” He later said he wanted to go after all before taking that back again because he needs heart surgery. Meanwhile, Meghan’s mother was photographed with Prince Harry and Meghan at the Invictus games and then at the Royal Wedding.
Here are more photos from that moment:
Here’s Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, at the Royal Wedding.
One site reported that Tom Markle couldn’t wait to walk his daughter down the aisle. Although photos of Tom Markle, who now lives in Mexico, were somewhat scarce in the public domain before the paparazzi shots he’s accused of staging, Meghan has shared a few of them on Instagram (see above and later in this story for pictures of her with her dad.)
The allegedly staged shots showed Tom Markle looking at photos of Harry and Meghan in an Internet cafe, supposedly getting measured for a suit by a tailor, and lifting weights on the beach.
With one Father’s Day photo in 2016, Meghan wrote affectionately, “Happy Father’s Day, daddy. I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world. Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films & club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose. I love you xo – Bean.”
Tom Markle and Doria Ragland are the parents of Meghan, the American actress whose relationship turned into marriage in spring 2018. She is now the Duchess of Sussex.
According to BBC, Prince Harry, who is the sixth in line to the British throne, and Markle, announced their engagement, revealing the marriage will occur in May after Prince William and his wife have their third child. “They will live at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace, London. The couple, who have been dating since the summer of 2016, secretly got engaged earlier this month,” BBC reported, as the couple posed for photos and Prince Harry and his father declared themselves both “thrilled” by the news. They married on March 19, 2018.
Meghan has written emotionally about her parents and about what it is like being a biracial person (her father is white, and her mother is black), and she has described how her father helped her stand up to people who demanded she choose one identity. According to Daily Mail, “Harry also asked Meghan’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, who divorced when their daughter was six, for her hand in marriage before popping the question,” and Meghan’s parents said in a statement, “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.” However, in a televised interview with Prince Harry after the engagement announcement, Meghan revealed that, while Harry and her dad have spoken, they haven’t yet met.
Meghan wrote about her childhood in an essay in Elle Magazine. In it, she says that her parents met in the late Seventies when her father “was a lighting director for a soap opera and my mom was a temp at the studio. I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her Afro, plus their shared love of antiques. Whatever it was, they married and had me.”
They moved to a non-diverse area of LA, where Meghan laments that her mother would be mistaken for the nanny, according to Elle Magazine.
Meghan “spent time on film sets as a child because her father Thomas was a lighting director on the series Married with Children and General Hospital,” reports UK Express.
She has described her father as the “most hardworking father you can imagine” and said, “My father was the lighting director on two television shows as I was growing up,” UK Express reports.
Meghan penned a moving essay for Elle Magazine, which includes many anecdotes about her parents. The article discusses “creating her identity and finding her voice as a mixed race woman.”
She wrote that her father, Thomas Markle, had grown up in Pennsylvania and described how he insisted “If that happens again, you draw your own box” when a teacher tried to make her check black or white in an English class census exercise.
She recalled how her dad once customized two Barbie doll sets, so that she could have a mixed race doll family. “On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family: a black mom doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each colour. My dad had taken the sets apart and customised my family,” she wrote for Elle.
In the article, Meghan explains how people repeatedly inquire “where she is from,” when she knows what they are really after: “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.”
She eloquently wrote, “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.” However, the essay is uplifting. She concludes, “While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
You can read the full Elle essay here.