Meghan Markle, the new wife of the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry, has long had a “strained” relationship with some of her family members, including her dad — which caused problems ahead of this year’s famed royal wedding on May 19.
That relationship is believed to have been strained further by Markle’s father’s alleged staging of photographs with a member of the paparazzi ahead of the wedding, which led to an accusatory phone call from Prince Harry that his then-soon-to-be father-in-law ended abruptly by hanging up.
According to US Weekly, Thomas Markle reportedly found the call from Harry about the staged photos to be upsetting and “rude,” particularly given the timing, as he was recovering from a recent heart attack.
The photos that Markle allegedly staged with a member of the paparazzi — who both Harry and Meghan had explicitly warned Thomas to stay away from — sparked a bit of a scandal, as they were revealed to have netted a small payday for the photographer and Markle himself, and included pictures of him being fitted for a wedding suit when his role at the royal wedding was still in question.
Mr. Markle had reportedly been told ahead of the wedding that he would not be permitted to deliver a speech, and he ultimately declined to attend the ceremony, with Harry’s father Prince Charles being the one to escort the new duchess down the aisle at the wedding.
The father explained in an interview with the U.K.’s Daily Mail that the prince had called him after the photos were released and demanded to know if he’d cooperated with the photographer, which Markle initially denied.
But Markle later admitted that he had cooperated in a follow-up call days later, after he’d suffered a heart attack and was recovering in a hospital. The prince allegedly stated at the time: “If you had listened to me this would never have happened.”
Markle said that he’d replied: “Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead … then you could pretend to be sad.”
“Then I hung up,” Thomas Markle told the Daily Mail.
A father spurned
Mr. Markle revealed that in looking back on the conversation now, he agreed that the prince was “absolutely right” to criticize him for his cooperation with the media. He also added that the most hurtful part of the whole scandal was how he wasn’t allowed to deliver a speech at the wedding, though he also held no grudges.
“I’m not mad at Harry. I’m not mad at Meghan. I love them. I wish them well,” Markle said. “But as for the rest of it, [censored] it. I’m done.”
There probably aren’t too many people in the world who can claim to have hung up on a member of the royal family, so Thomas Markle is likely in exclusive company in that regard.
As for the strained relationship between him and the royal family, one can only hope that they are able to eventually work out their differences and get along for everyone’s sake.