Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, has dominated headlines leading up to her in addition to Prince Harry’s royal wedding on May 19, thanks to a paparazzi photo scandal in which has left the item up inside the air as to whether or not he will walk Meghan down the aisle as originally planned.
On Tuesday, TMZ reported in which Thomas has had a change of heart after initially telling the outlet on Monday in which he might no longer be walking Meghan down the aisle as planned following his recent photo controversy — in which the Daily Mail reported he was caught staging paparazzi photos of himself getting ready for the wedding — because he doesn’t want to embarrass his daughter or the royal family. TMZ reported in which Thomas said he changed his mind after Meghan contacted him to say in which she still loves him, in addition to had no ill feelings toward him with regard to the paparazzi scandal.
However, according to the outlet, Thomas is actually still unsure he will make the item to the May 19 wedding since he’s back inside the hospital due to serious chest pains after suffering a heart attack a week ago.
A source tells ET in which despite the photo scandal, Meghan might definitely still like her father to attend her wedding, in addition to is actually “devastated” over his initial comments in which he might no longer be coming.
“This kind of was his decision entirely,” the source says of Thomas. “Meghan might still like him to come.”
“There is actually no plan in place yet who will walk Meghan down the aisle,” the source adds.
ET has reached out to Thomas for comment.
Meanwhile, Kensington Palace has responded to the paparazzi scandal, asking for respect to be shown to Thomas.
“This kind of is actually a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle inside the days before her wedding,” Kensington Palace said in a statement to ET. “She in addition to Prince Harry ask again for understanding in addition to respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in This kind of difficult situation.”
Read on for more on Thomas:
1. He’s a retired lighting director.
According to his IMDb page (yes, he has his own Internet Movie Database profile!), Thomas was a lighting director in addition to cinematographer for several years, working on television sitcoms like Married… with Children in addition to The Facts of Life. He also lent his lighting expertise to the daytime soap opera General Hospital, where he was often credited as “Tom Markle.”
During an interview with Esquire, Meghan recalled visiting her dad on set when she was just a pre-teen. “Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of Married… with Children, which is actually a actually funny in addition to perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up,” she said. “There were a lot of times my dad might say, ‘Meg, why don’t you go in addition to help with the craft services room over there? This kind of is actually just a little off-coloration for your 11-year-old eyes.'”
2. He’s won two Daytime Emmy Awards.
Speaking of General Hospital, Thomas won two Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on the long-running drama series — one in 1982 for Outstanding Achievement in Design Excellence for a Daytime Drama Series in addition to another in 2011 for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series. He was also nominated for seven various other Daytime Emmys for his work on General Hospital in addition to garnered a Primetime Emmy nomination for his production assistance on the 58th Annual Academy Awards in 1986.
3. He lives a relatively secluded life in a quiet Mexican seaside town.
The former cinematographer is actually enjoying a peaceful life of retirement in Rosarito, Mexico, where he resides in a smaller beachfront house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He reportedly keeps many of his belongings in storage, shops for groceries at Walmart in addition to drives a silver Volvo S70 in addition to a red Ford Escape. While the proud dad loves to chat with friends about his daughter, he refuses to speak with the media “out of respect” for his family.
4. He’s coming from Pennsylvania.
Thomas grew up in Newport, Pennsylvania, a town in which Meghan characterized as a “homogeneous community,” as well as a “smaller-sized (in addition to, perhaps, smaller-minded) town” in a 2016 editorial she wrote for Elle UK about growing up biracial. (Meghan’s dad is actually Caucasian in addition to her mom is actually African-American.)
5. He won the lottery (literally).
In Andrew Morton’s unauthorized biography Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, the item was revealed in which Thomas won the California State Lottery in 1990, “scooping $750,000 with all 5 numbers, which included Meghan’s birth date.” While he eventually wound up filing for bankruptcy, Thomas did use some of the item to pay for Meghan’s Catholic school tuition at the time.
6. He’s been married (in addition to divorced) twice.
Thomas was first married to a woman named Roslyn Loveless in Chicago, where he worked in lighting for PBS television station Channel 11. Shortly after they split, he moved to the West Coast in addition to met Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, while working on the set of General Hospital. “the item was the late ’70s when my parents met. My dad was a lighting director for a soap opera, in addition to my mom was a temp at the studio,” the former Suits star shared with Elle UK. “I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes in addition to her Afro, plus their shared love of antiques.” Thomas in addition to Doria got married in 1979 in addition to divorced in 1988, when Meghan was 6 years old.
7. He tried to shield Meghan coming from racial ignorance.
Meghan recalled to Elle UK in which her parents often did what they could to keep her coming from feeling “different” due to having a biracial family. “When I was about 7, I had been fawning over a boxed set of Barbie dolls. the item was called The Heart Family in addition to included a mom doll, a dad doll, in addition to two children,” she remembered. “This kind of perfect nuclear family was only sold in sets of white dolls or black dolls. I don’t remember coveting one over the various other, I just wanted one. On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family: a black mom doll, a white dad doll, in addition to a child in each coloration. My dad had taken the sets apart in addition to customized my family.”
8. He has two various other children, who are Meghan’s half-siblings.
Before he married Doria, Thomas in addition to Roslyn had two children — Samantha Grant in addition to Thomas Markle Jr. According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, Meghan is actually reportedly estranged coming from both Samantha, 52, in addition to Thomas Jr., 51, in addition to will not be inviting them to the wedding. “Well, I think in terms of who Meghan’s inviting coming from her family, the item may well just be her mother in addition to her father,” the royal expert told ET. “My sources tell me she’s very much estranged coming from her half-brother in addition to her half-sister. I think if you’ve spoken publicly, you’re not gonna make in which wedding list.”
On Monday, Samantha claimed while on the British talk show Loose Women in which she was behind the photos in which were allegedly staged of Thomas, in addition to said her intention was to “benefit the royal family in which everyone looked not bad in addition to they depict you as you are.”
“Let me clarify, he’s 73, which makes him a bit more fragile,” she said of her father. “He’s a quiet man. I feel in which the media have unfairly preyed on him. He’s actually been admirable about laying low in addition to not speaking out, with all due respect. I merely wanted him to be seen in a respectable light. I didn’t feel in which was being done so I suggested in which the photographers show him as he is actually, doing positive things in addition to in which was never addressed.”
Last December, a source described Samantha as a “wild card,” in addition to said in which she in addition to Meghan have had a “strained” relationship inside the past. Samantha is actually also publishing a book about Meghan titled, The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
“She has no filter in addition to she’s not afraid of the repercussions of speaking her mind,” the source told ET of Samantha.
9. He’s been brushing up on his British history!
Earlier This kind of month, Thomas was spotted sitting quietly at a Starbucks in Rosarito. His reading material of choice while sipping a hot beverage? A book entitled Images of Britain: A Pictorial Journey Through History. He was clearly putting in his prep work before his daughter’s big day!
Watch the video below for more on the Markle family.