When it comes to royal pains, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, apparently has a whole family full. The British royal family courts scandal all the time and knows a thing or two about dealing with difficult relatives. However, Meghan's family members bring an entirely different kind of drama to the table. According to Buckingham Palace insiders, controversies involving Meghan Markle's family present a new challenge for the monarchy. From the moment Meghan and Prince Harry's engagement hit the media, her family started getting weird.
Going back and forth with his feelings for Meghan, her father consistently pops up in the press either singing her praises or slamming her for being distant. Meghan’s father isn’t the only member of her family bringing extra drama into her life. Her half-sister and half-brother both speak about her in the press, and a slew of cousins attempted to cash in on her name in one way or another. Despite the fact none of her relatives apart from her mother even attended her wedding, it never stopped any of them from commenting on it.
Like clockwork, Thomas Markle has given yet another interview: “They are cult-like — like Scientology." https://t.co/tUWLMBEJbG— E! News (@enews) August 18, 2018
Thomas Markle is no stranger to stirring up controversy surrounding the Royal Family. On August 17, 2018, he spoke to The Sun and compared his daughter's new family to Scientology, saying, "If they hear anybody say anything they just lock the doors. They need to speak up! They are cult-like - like Scientology - because they are secretive."
"Maybe they have a secret handshake too! You cannot ask a question of them - as they won't answer," he added. The Royal Family and the Duchess of Sussex did not respond to Markle's allegations.
In stories about the Markle family, fact and fiction blur together. At the time of Meghan's May 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, her father, Thomas Markle, Sr., backed out of attending the wedding because he needed open heart surgery. Supposedly he drove up from his home in Mexico to the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in San Diego, CA, for the procedure, but they hospital says he never checked in. Thomas, an Emmy winning lighting director who worked on Married With Children and The Facts of Life, told TMZ he went under the knife to "clear blockage."
Prince Charles stood in for Thomas during the wedding and walked Meghan down the aisle.
Hours after telling TMZ he wanted to walk his daughter down the aisle, Thomas Markle said he will have heart surgery Wednesday morning and cannot attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, the US-based celebrity news site reported https://t.co/SKeSlND7oi pic.twitter.com/ZS7bYPoBNk— CNN (@CNN) May 15, 2018
Prior to the wedding, a collection of photos emerged showing Thomas Markle, Sr. reading up on England and being fitted for his suit. According to The Daily Mail, Thomas staged these photos for money. A video obtained by the publication showed Thomas taking a trip to an internet cafe with the photographer, Jeff Rayner, and reading stories about his daughter while Rayner took pictures. The Mail says Thomas made $180,000 from the sale of the photos.
During an interview, Meghan's half-sister, Samantha Markle, said she encouraged Thomas to stage the paparazzi photos.
'I'm not taking it personally. We wish her well. We last spoke in 2015.' - Meghan Markle's half-sister Samantha it talking about not being invited to the royal wedding #HarryandMeghan pic.twitter.com/T71NGBH2Uc— Loose Women (@loosewomen) May 14, 2018
After Meghan revealed her engagement to Prince Harry, her half-sister, Samantha Markle, began discussing her planned memoir: The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. Even though the two sisters have seen little of each other recently, Samantha says much of the book details her life growing up with the Duchess. Aside from stories about their youth, Samantha claims it's not "some sort of slamming 'tell-all,'" but rather a walk through "the beautiful nuances of our lives, our family home." The book will also explore, "the inter-racial evolution of this country through the lens of my life and my family since the Civil Rights Act until present, and how that intersects with [Meghan's wedding]."
When she revealed this information in the fall of 2017, Samantha spoke quite highly of Meghan and her then-fiancé – a marked shift from her attitude in 2018, shortly before the wedding.