STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Behind Thomas Markle's special relationship with Meghan Markle

It's been a dizzying week of gossip and speculation for ...

Posted: May 16, 2018 11:57 AM
Updated: May 16, 2018 11:57 AM

It's been a dizzying week of gossip and speculation for Meghan Markle's father days before one of the most anticipated weddings of the year.

The American actress will wed Prince Harry on Saturday at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in a ceremony watched by millions around the world.

But while she's largely stayed out of the spotlight in the days leading up to the wedding, the father of the bride has been busy making headlines worldwide with one theme -- will he be there or won't he?

Thomas Markle has given multiple interviews to celebrity news site TMZ on whether he'll walk his famous daughter down the aisle -- saying in the latest that he won't.

At first, the former Hollywood lighting director was expected to play a key role on his daughter's big day, but it emerged Tuesday that he could miss the wedding because heart surgery.

The announcement marked the latest twist after accusations that he posed for wedding preparation photos for a paparazzi agency. After the revelation, he pulled out of the wedding, reportedly saying he doesn't want to embarrass the royal family or his daughter.

Close ties despite divorce

Whether or not he attends the wedding, the father and daughter share a close relationship by all accounts.

Meghan is said to be upset about the staged photos, but still wants her father to walk her down the aisle.

Markle divorced Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, in the 1980s but has remained part of his daughter's life.

In a 2016 message titled "Happy Father's Day" posted on her now-deleted Instagram account, Meghan Markle paid tribute to him.

"Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films & club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose. I love you," she reportedly posted.

Meghan has said she spent most of her childhood hanging out at her father's job after school.

"Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of 'Married ... with Children,' which is a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up," she told Esquire in 2013.

"There were a lot of times my dad would say, 'Meg, why don't you go and help with the craft services room over there? This is just a little off-color for your 11-year-old eyes.' "

Those days on the set with her father shaped her career. In the interview, she said he'd call and offer her advice on lighting while she was on television show "Suits."

"... [M]y dad will be the first person to call me and say like, 'Why aren't you using this sort of lighting gel?' The crew guys know that it's where I grew up," she said.

Meghan said in the 2013 interview that her father had retired about six years earlier. She recalled watching the credits at the end of "Married .. with Children" episodes and giving the screen a kiss when she saw his name go by.

'Draw your own box'

Long before she turned into a Hollywood star, Meghan struggled with her biracial identity. She's said her father helped her realize she doesn't need to pick one race over the other.

When she was in seventh grade, her English teacher asked her to check the ethnicity box for Caucasian on a census, which made her feel like she was choosing one parent over another

When she told her father about the incident, he was angry.

'"If that happens again, you draw your own box," she said he told her, according to Elle UK.

The issue of race would be a confusing thread throughout Meghan's early years. When she was 7, she wanted a doll set that came in either an all-white or all-black family. Her father took apart the doll packages and mixed a black mom doll, a white dad doll and two children of both races, and gave them to her as a Christmas gift.

"My dad had taken the sets apart and customized my family," she wrote.

He lives in Mexico

Thomas Markle lives in the Mexican beach city of Rosarito, where he was photographed by a paparazzo in the apparently staged photos over the past few weeks.

Her half-sister Samantha Markle has added to the controversy by leaking details on their father even as Kensington Palace has requested that journalists respect his privacy.

The estranged sibling has said their father suffered a heart attack after reports emerged that Thomas Markle may not attend the royal wedding on Saturday.

While Samantha Markle has reportedly not spoken to her sister for several years, she has not been shy about making media rounds. She did not specify the timing of her father's heart attack, but told the "Good Morning Britain" program that while she's concerned for his health, she did not want him to miss out on the big day.

"I wanted to see him go. I didn't want him deprived of that. But clearly the propriety should be whether or not it is safe for him to do that," Markle added.

Samantha Markle has previously said she was the one who had encouraged their father to stage the photos in an ill-fated bid to improve his image.

He was to meet with the royal family

Both of Meghan's parents were due to fly into the UK in the days before the wedding. Once there, they are expected to spend time with the British royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Harry has yet to meet his fianc-e's father.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 94189

Reported Deaths: 2046
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26706928
Ramsey10775319
Dakota7428125
Anoka6006133
Stearns395024
Washington373555
Scott253233
Olmsted238828
Nobles196116
Blue Earth16766
Wright16037
St. Louis155539
Carver13967
Clay137140
Rice13288
Mower13225
Sherburne113714
Kandiyohi9822
Winona87018
Lyon6784
Waseca6148
Freeborn5404
Steele5402
Benton5363
Nicollet52916
Watonwan5204
Crow Wing49418
Todd4882
Chisago4841
McLeod4782
Le Sueur4604
Otter Tail4304
Beltrami4135
Martin39410
Goodhue3609
Pine3190
Itasca31314
Polk3054
Douglas2972
Isanti2890
Becker2722
Carlton2631
Morrison2331
Dodge2320
Cottonwood2240
Pipestone22010
Chippewa2081
Meeker1982
Sibley1913
Wabasha1880
Brown1842
Yellow Medicine1762
Rock1660
Cass1654
Murray1632
Mille Lacs1583
Redwood1581
Unassigned15552
Renville1478
Jackson1451
Faribault1410
Swift1371
Houston1250
Koochiching1213
Kanabec1198
Roseau1180
Pennington1171
Fillmore1160
Lincoln1110
Hubbard971
Stevens971
Pope920
Big Stone810
Aitkin761
Wadena680
Wilkin633
Grant614
Lake580
Norman540
Lac qui Parle531
Marshall511
Mahnomen461
Red Lake441
Traverse290
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods211
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 84671

Reported Deaths: 1303
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15779262
Woodbury535664
Johnson510027
Black Hawk447290
Linn3973111
Story342917
Dubuque317341
Scott297128
Dallas277138
Pottawattamie208938
Buena Vista198412
Marshall177734
Sioux15653
Wapello132857
Webster125114
Plymouth112220
Clinton111221
Muscatine110054
Crawford10775
Cerro Gordo105121
Warren9516
Jasper83332
Des Moines7748
Marion7567
Henry7305
Tama70831
Carroll6605
Lee6247
Wright5811
Dickinson5106
Boone5058
Bremer4887
Washington45611
Louisa42815
Mahaska40619
Delaware3973
Franklin34718
Floyd3423
Jackson3373
Winneshiek3306
Hamilton3223
Clay3194
Lyon3184
Benton3091
Winnebago30113
Hardin2991
Poweshiek2928
Buchanan2741
Butler2702
Jones2693
Clarke2653
Kossuth2650
Shelby2651
Emmet26110
Allamakee2596
Clayton2523
Sac2480
Cherokee2462
Chickasaw2460
Guthrie2446
Cedar2411
Grundy2193
Fayette2172
Harrison2143
Madison2122
Iowa2041
Mitchell1890
Humboldt1883
Palo Alto1880
Howard1876
Hancock1842
Calhoun1823
Mills1781
Cass1632
Monroe15710
Osceola1570
Pocahontas1572
Lucas1566
Page1540
Monona1501
Jefferson1381
Appanoose1363
Union1313
Taylor1271
Davis1244
Ida1201
Fremont1150
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1071
Worth1070
Greene1000
Montgomery925
Wayne862
Audubon821
Adair711
Decatur670
Ringgold502
Adams330
Unassigned70
Rochester
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 68°
Mason City
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Albert Lea
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 68°
Austin
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 72°
One Last Mild Day
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events