Meghan Markle’s father said Prince Harry is not open to peaceful solutions to the breakdown in relations between them and added: «I’ve done nothing wrong.»
The Duchess of Sussex has not spoken to Thomas Markle since May 2018, when he was caught staging paparazzi pictures for money shortly before he pulled out of her wedding following a heart attack.
Since then, Markle has given numerous critical interviews about Meghan and Harry; leaked a private letter she sent him to a U.K. tabloid; and given written testimony against her in a lawsuit.
During an interview with TV show Good Morning Britain, Markle said: «I’ve done nothing wrong. There’s nothing that says I’m a bad guy. As a matter of fact, I’m a really loving father, and she knows that, and there’s no excuse for her to treat me this way.»
He added that Meghan and Harry should also patch up their relationship with the royals, saying that there was also «no excuse to treat the king this way.»
«I’m open to it anytime, but I can’t see it coming,» Markle said. «He’s [Harry’s] not open to peaceful solutions I don’t think. And I don’t think Meghan is either.»
Markle experienced a stroke in May 2022 that affected his speech, and he was out of the limelight for more than a year afterwards.
He told the British show that there is no cure for a stroke, but «you learn to manage it» and his voice has been getting better.
In the weeks leading up to Harry and Meghan’s May 2018 wedding, paparazzi photos began appearing in the British media of Thomas Markle apparently getting ready for the celebration.
Some featured him at an internet cafe reading news articles about the wedding, while others showed him getting measured up for a suit in Rosarito, in Mexico, where he was living at the time.
However, journalists for U.K. newspaper The Mail on Sunday obtained CCTV images showing the pictures were staged with a photographer from agency Coleman Rayner, with whom Markle has since fallen out.
«I was set up for that,» he told Good Morning Britain, «And set up to ruin the wedding. It was a ploy by a company, and I was a victim.»
He also said he felt Meghan’s decision to cut him off was out of character: «Meghan lived with me from her 6th grade to high school, and I never saw anything like that with her.»
The dates he gave appear to match those given by lawyers for Samantha Markle, his other daughter, in her lawsuit against Meghan. A court filing stated: «Meghan lived with her father full-time and visited her mother on some weekends. When Meghan was in Jr. High School, Samantha lived on the property and was always home when Meghan came home from school.»
However, the duchess told her Netflix show Harry & Meghan that she lived with her father only on weekends: «I was with my mom during the week and with my dad on the weekends. And my dad lived alone; he had two adult children who had moved out of his house.»
«I never saw the kind of woman she turned into,» Markle told Good Morning Britain. «I’m shocked to this day. She’s not the person I knew as my daughter.
«I still love her,» he added. «I’ll love her for ever. I’m not going to change that. But I want her to reach out to me and let me see my grandkids and let me have a little peace. I spent five years… Guys go to prison for five years and then they’re forgiven. I didn’t do anything. So forgive me I guess.»
Jack Royston is Newsweek‘s chief royal correspondent based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.
Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.