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Thomas Markle Accuses Daughter Meghan and Prince Harry of ‘Cheapening’ Royal Family

‘Walmart With A Crown On’
Thomas Markle attacks Meghan and Harry, Prince Andrew accompanies the Queen to church, the Queen’s sadness at not knowing Archie, and why Meghan’s suitcase packing is so revealing.

Tom Sykes, Tim TeemanJan. 19, 2020 8:36 AM ET

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Father dearest

One notable missing voice from all the coverage over Harry and Meghan’s dramatic exit from the British royal family, was, until now, that of Thomas Markle, Meghan’s estranged dad who is set to be the star witness for the Mail on Sunday when Meghan’s legal action against the Mail makes it to court.

Thomas roared back to center stage in many of today’s papers with the release of snippets from a new documentary for U.K.’s Channel 5 entitled Thomas Markle: My Story in which he accuses his daughter of “cheapening” the royal family, throwing away “every girl’s dream” for money and adds: “They are turning it [the Royal Family] into Walmart with a crown on.”

He tells the filmmakers: “When they got married they took on an obligation, and the obligation is to be part of the royals and to represent the royals. And it would be foolish for them not to.

“This is one of the greatest long-living institutions ever. They are destroying it, they are cheapening it, making it shabby… they shouldn’t be doing this.”

He went on: “With Meghan and Harry separating from the Royals… it’s disappointing because she actually got every girl’s dream.

“Every young girl wants to become a princess and she got that and now she’s tossing that away… it looks like she’s tossing that away for money.”

In what may prove to prophetic words, Markle says: “I think both of them are turning into lost souls at this point. I don’t know what they’re looking for. I don’t think they know what they are looking for.”

Prince Andrew back at Queen’s side

Proving once again that the Royal Family does things its own bizarrely puzzling way, Prince Andrew was pictured Sunday at the Queen’s side at church—the first time he has been pictured with her publicly since the BBC Newsnight interview that led to his firing from royal duties.

No matter there are still unanswered questions about the nature of his relationship with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. The Queen has decided today, for reasons best known to her, to strongly telegraph her support of her son.

Here’s one we heard earlier

The core disagreement between Prince Harry and the press has always been his assertion that he is relentlessly hounded by the media, versus the media’s claim that he was treated with kid gloves because of his position.

Now, with Harry unprotected by the family, some of the papers might be expected to throw caution to the wind and to unload long-held stories.

For a taste, The Sunday Times discloses the names of the godparents of Harry’s Prince Archie, identifying them as Tiggy Pettifer (formerly Legge-Bourke), a much-loved former nanny to William and Harry, and Mark Dyer, a former equerry to the Prince of Wales who became a mentor and close friend to Charles’ sons and Harry’s friend Charlie van Straubenzee. Harry’s demand that the press did not identify Archie’s godparents was the cause of much irritation amongst the media.

Queen’s sadness at not knowing Archie

The Queen is “very sad” that she has seen little of Harry and Meghan’s 8-month-old son, Archie Harrison, The Sunday Times reports. Archie has met the Queen and Prince Charles only a handful of times, and it was reported this week that he had only met his cousins—Princes George and Louis, and Princess Charlotte—twice.

A source who knows the Queen said: “She will be very sad to have barely seen Archie, and that he will miss out on growing up with his cousins and wider family.”

Charles is also said to be despondent that Archie will apparently mainly be raised overseas.

A source who knows the family said: “Where will Archie’s heritage and roots be? What about Diana’s family, the Spencers? Harry and William know all too well how damaging an unsettled childhood can be.”

She didn’t even pack her best stuff…

A damning claim that Meghan’s heart was never really in her move to the U.K. is being made via revelations that she left a horde of clothes in Canada.

Citing a first-hand source, Canada’s Entertainment Tonight says that when Meghan Markle moved to London in November 2017 she packed up her clothes and put them into storage in Toronto for use at a later date. They never made it to British shores. However, a significant proportion of the clothes she left behind, including some of those outfits she wore on Suits, have now been shipped to the home the couple are occupying on Vancouver Island.

Not a gentle rental

Moving is an expensive business, especially if you don’t get rid of the old home first.

The Sunday Times reports that Meghan and Harry will now be presented with a $13,000 monthly rent bill for their unoccupied British home, Frogmore Cottage. That’s after they have paid back the $3m the British taxpayer spent on renovating it for them. Ouch.

Old habit dies hard

Harry and Meghan’s new website sussexroyal.com has been updated following the Queen’s statement. It now says: “In line with the statement by Her Majesty The Queen, information on the roles and work of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be updated on this website in due course. We appreciate your patience and invite you to explore the site to see the current works of Their Royal Highnesses.” Hmm... The whole point of the deal hammered out on Saturday was that they were to drop the Royal Highness bit.

British TV presenters, listen to your black guests

Imagine asking women of color on to your TV show to discuss racism—specifically the racism that Meghan Markle may have experienced as a royal—and then dismissing what those guests may have to say on the subject.

Yet in recent days, exactly that has happened as women of color on successive British TV shows have been asked for their opinion and then promptly shut down or dismissed if they answer that yes, Meghan’s experience shows that there is racism in British society which must be confronted and dealt with.

A few examples: Piers Morgan’s questioning of Afua Hirsch on Good Morning Britain here, Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu’s appearance on This Morning, and Amna Saleem’s experience on BBC Scotland’s The Nine.

The white presenters on these shows seem to take offense at the opinions of the women of color, after asking them to talk about racism—as if it is the presenters who get to define or decree what is racist or not racist. Whether you agree with the guests on these TV shows or not, their experiences show that yes, racism is still very much an issue of concern in Britain (as it is everywhere), and please, if you ask people of color on to your TV shows to discuss racism, first let them speak, and then listen to what they are saying.

This week in royal fashion

As negotiations continued, the royals were out about business-as-usual’ing. The queen did mafioso headscarf and dark glasses. Meghan wore accessible-casual (plus fabulous warm outdoorsy coat) as she visited a women’s shelter in Vancouver, and Kate wore an olive green Alexander McQueen coat on her and William’s trip to Bradford, West Yorkshire. William wore a jersey under his coat. It was all very sensible, and carry-on-as-normal. Nothing like a huge royal crisis happening here, folks!

This week in royal history

Happy 55th birthday tomorrow, Monday, to Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wife of Prince Edward. Sophie, who has apparently become very close to the Queen, leads a very quiet royal life after an early, very embarrassing scandal, in which she was set up in a tabloid sting involving “fake sheikh” reporter Mazher Mahmood.

Unanswered questions

How can Harry and Meghan use “Sussex Royal” for their website and merchandising if they’re not royals any more? Who is paying for their security, Britain or Canada? Will Meghan ever return to Britain? And will somebody please get the Queen a stiff drink NOW?