Every week brings a new chapter in Meghan Markle’s family drama, beginning long before her marriage to Prince Harry and continuing to this very day. With so many people involved and so many things being said and done for so long, it’s easy to get confused. Breaking it down in order to create a clearer picture of what is going on can be helpful in understanding the history behind the drama.
At the center of it all is Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The 37-year-old is a former actress. She is most well known for her role as Rachel Zane on the USA Network television series Suits that has been on the air since 2011, and has a total of 30 acting credits to her name. Her mother, 61-year-old Doria Ragland, divorced her father, 74-year-old Thomas Markle, when Meghan was 6. She has two older half-siblings (51-year-old Thomas Markle, Jr. and 53-year-old Samantha Markle). Meghan was married to actor and producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013. Thomas Markle Sr., her father and the cause of much controversy, is a retired TV lighting director.
He lives in Rosarito Beach in Baja California, Mexico.
— E! News (@enews) August 24, 2018
As reported by ET Online, Samantha Markle was initially supportive of Meghan’s imminent marriage to Prince Harry. She described them as very close as children and had nothing but praise for her half-sister, even comparing her to Princess Diana despite recent comments to the contrary.
“She was never a partier, she worked very hard. She was studious, she was brilliant in her studies, she was brilliant on stage, she is world traveled. At a young age, she was thrust into this position of requiring her to be articulate and graceful and worldly and mature. She’s definitely strong enough to embrace gracefully whatever challenges come her way. She’s got the eloquence of a Condoleezza Rice, and the grace of Princess Diana.”
She later changed her tune and has accused Meghan of deserting their father after he filed bankruptcy in 2010, pointing to all that her father had done for Meghan throughout her life. She has also called out the Duchess of Sussex for giving her family the cold shoulder, going so far as to liken her to Disney villain Cruella Deville.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Just Took the Next Step by Getting a New Dog https://t.co/hSf6ekD77k
— People (@people) August 25, 2018
Thomas Markle, Jr. also changed his tune after the royal wedding. Prior to the wedding, he spoke to The Daily Mail, revealing that they had not spoken for over 10 years and said it would be a big deal, whether or not he was invited to the royal affair. Seventeen days before the wedding, however, he published a letter to Prince Harry in which he begged him not to marry Meghan, saying it would be one of the biggest mistakes of his life. He has recently stated that he didn’t understand why the royal family had been so welcoming to Kate Middleton’s family and not to the Markles.
An explanation for the difference in the royal family’s relationship to the Middleton’s versus the Markle’s likely lies in a paparazzi stunt Thomas Sr. pulled before the wedding. He staged a series of photos of him preparing for a trip to England for the royal wedding. When news broke that the photos were staged, he said he would not be going to the wedding. Meghan was reportedly hurt by the news and still wanted him to be there. Samantha later revealed that she had encouraged her father to stage the photos and that he received financial remuneration in exchange for them.
Thomas Sr. later said he had had a heart attack and would not be able to travel to London for the nuptials. ET Online reports that Meghan and Harry released a statement on the situation.
“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding. She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”
Since then Thomas Sr. has regularly taken shots at the royal family, saying he can see that she is miserable, and attacking Meghan and her new family for shutting him out of her life. He has indicated that he believes it’s due to the money he made from staged photos.
Doria Ragland has managed to stay out of the family drama. She was invited to the wedding and seems to have a good relationship with Prince Harry and the royals. She has been supportive of her daughter’s marriage and, as reported by Inquisitr, is rumored to be considering moving to London to be closer to her.
Kensington Palace has remained mostly silent about the Markle family but has reportedly met in private many times in order to devise a way to calm the storm.