Thomas Markle accuses Meghan and Harry of 'cheapening' royals
TORONTO -- The estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex, Thomas Markle, has accused Prince Harry and Meghan of “cheapening” the Royal Family by stepping down from their senior roles.
“She actually got every girl's dream. Every young girl wanted to become a princess and she got that… it looks like she’s tossing it away for money,” Markle said during an interview with Alaska TV/Channel 5. Markle’s comments come a day after Buckingham Palace announced the couple would no longer be working members of the Royal Family.
“They’re destroying it. They’re cheapening it, they’re making it shabby. They’re turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it.”
Buckingham Palace announced Saturday that Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use their “royal highness" titles or receive public funds for royal duties. The new arrangement comes after the couple’s bombshell announcement earlier this month that they wish to “step away” from their official roles.
Markle, whose strained relationship with his daughter complicated her entry into the Royal Family, said he is “embarrassed” by Harry and Meghan’s decision, describing them as “lost souls.”
“It’s kind of embarrassing to me,” he said as part of the interview.
“When they got married they took on an obligation. The obligation is to be part of the royals and represent the royals and it would be foolish for them not to.”
Markle was due to walk Meghan down the aisle at her May 2018 wedding, but pulled out at the last minute, citing heart problems. Since then, he has spoken out about his estranged daughter in several interviews to the media.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently embroiled in legal action against the Mail on Sunday newspaper for publishing a private letter the Duchess wrote to her father. The civil lawsuit accuses the newspaper of copyright infringement, misuse of private information and violating the U.K.'s data protection law with the publication of the letter.
Further complicating matters, Markle could be called to testify against the couple in court.
“This has been a real sad side show of her period in the Royal Family,” CTV’s royal commentator Richard Berthelsen told CTV News Channel Sunday.
“One of the things that obviously driving the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the Royal Family is the media coverage, particularly the British tabloid press who have paid Mr. Markle on occasion and tried to catch him in lies and duplicity.”
Berthelsen says the latest interview from Meghan’s estranged father is yet another example of what drove the couple to leave their post.