The news of Meghan and Harry stepping down as senior members of the royal family has taken over global headlines. And it's now known that the two will no longer be keeping their HRH titles. In light of the news, Channel 5 has secured Meghan's father Thomas Markle for a feature-length documentary Thomas Markle: My Story. But this isn’t the first time Mr Markle has gone to the press to talk about his daughter.
In a clip of the documentary released on Sky News earlier this week, Thomas Markle spoke about Meghan and Harry leaving their royal duties. He said his daughter and her husband were “destroying it, they are cheapening it, making it shabby – they are turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it now," he said.
Back in June 2018, Thomas Markle also appeared on Good Morning Britain after not attending his daughter’s royal wedding due to illness. In the interview he spoke about Brexit and apologised for staging paparazzi photos ahead of the royal wedding, saying on the morning show it was because he wanted to "change his image". Yet, according the Daily Mail, Meghan's father was paid £7,500 for his appearance and Kensington Palace reportedly had no prior warning about the interview prior. Bustle reached out to ITV to ask about the Daily Mail's report, but they declined to comment.
Since Meghan and Harry's engagement, Thomas Markle has spoken to newspapers and taken part in interviews a number of times (he appeared for a second Good Morning Britain interview in December 2018), something that Meghan, who is already under huge scrutiny from the press, allegedly did not want. Last year, the 75 year old gave a newspaper access to a heartfelt private letter he received from his daughter in which she begged him to stop talking to the press and questioned why he was “turning a blind eye to the pain” he was causing. The private letter is now at the centre of Megan’s legal case against the Mail on Sunday for copyright infringement and invasion of privacy.
In a statement released by the couple about their legal case, Harry states Meghan has "become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year." Harry continued, "I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces." (After analysing articles published between May 2018 and January 2020, the Guardian has discovered that Meghan gets twice as many negative headlines as positive.)
Speaking about why he leaked the letter, Thomas Markle said “I decided to release parts of the letter because of the article from Meghan’s friends in People magazine. I have to defend myself. I only released parts of the letter because other parts were so painful. The letter didn’t seem loving to me. I found it hurtful.” The People magazine article is in which a group of Meghan’s friends spoke about how the then-pregnant Markle dealt with "lies and untruths" and "emotional trauma" while carrying her first child. Her friends claim Mr Makle “never called; he’s never texted. It’s super painful.”
For the new documentary, Alaska TV followed Thomas Markle over six days in his home in Mexico during the time that his daughter and son in law were announcing their decision to step down as senior members. Channel 5 will broadcast the documentary on Jan. 22, 2020.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 8.30 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2020, to include the response from ITV about the Daily Mail's report on Thomas Markle and his June 2018 Good Morning Britain appearance.
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