Royals

Thomas Markle begs for a final chance with daughter Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry

Is Duchess Meghan's father's reputation ruined beyond repair? Take a look back at his most controversial moments.

By Alex Lilly

Even before his daughter became the Duchess of Sussex, Thomas Markle has been a hot topic around the world.

It all kicked off when the retired lighting director staged paparazzi photos in the lead up to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's wedding day and since then, he's made numerous comments slamming the British Royal Family and even the Queen has reportedly had enough of the Markle Debacle.

But now, Thomas Markle has begged for one final chance to make amends with his daughter and new son-in-law when the royal couple visit the States on an official visit in October.

Will Harry and Meghan give Thomas one last chance?
Will Harry and Meghan give Thomas one last chance?

The Sunday Express reports, "He wants to hug his daughter and tell her how very proud he is of her and how much he loves her.

"He wanted so much to walk her down the aisle and give her away on her magical big day and he's always going to bitterly upset and frustrated that instead he has to stay in bed following heart surgery.

"He hates that the world perceives him and some of Meghan's other relatives as "trailer trash" folk trying to cash in on her happiness. But all he really cares about is letting her know how much he loves her and reopening the door that has slammed shut between them."

Before she became a royal, Meghan and her father were very close. It was he who was the driving force behind her after she wrote letters to famous figures when she saw a sexist dishwashing liquid advert and in essay for ELLE UK, she revealed he encouraged her to not be defined by her mixed ethnicity.

On her now deleted Instagram account, Meghan shared a photo for Father's Day in 2016 saying, "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."

But since then, his comments have created a whole lot of awkwardness and distance. Keep reading for a refresher in Thomas Markle's most eyebrow-raising actions and comments.

A photo of baby Meghan and her father from her now deleted Instagram account.
A photo of baby Meghan and her father from her now deleted Instagram account.

Staging paparazzi photos ahead of the royal wedding

It was the move that kicked all the drama off. In the lead-up to the royal wedding in May 2018, snaps surfaced of Thomas Markle browsing pictures of his daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law in an internet cafe, reading up on British landmarks, lifting weights to get in shape for the wedding, and being fitted for a suit for the big day.

But just when everyone thought the father of the bride-to-be was simply being a cutie, it was revealed that the photos were staged in an attempt to make the Markles seem more likeable.

When he announced he wouldn't be attending the royal wedding

Prince Charles stepped in and walked his daughter-in-law down the aisle.
Prince Charles stepped in and walked his daughter-in-law down the aisle.

After the truth about the photos came out, Thomas pulled out of the wedding but then changed his mind and decided he would like to attend after all, but the 73-year-old was forced to undergo emergency heart surgery to "clear blockages" and "repair damage" after suffering a heart attack in the lead-up to Harry and Meghan's big day.

"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," she said in the statement released by Kensington Palace. "I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.

"I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support," she continued. "Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday."

In a royal wedding first, Meghan walked the first half of the aisle solo and was then accompanied by her father-in-law, Prince Charles.

When he hit back at claims he was cashing in on his daughter's marriage

Following the wedding, Thomas Markle appeared on British breakfast show, Good Morning Britain, apologising for staging the photographs and giving some insight into what happened when he told Meghan he wouldn't be able to make it.

But after he was criticised for appearing on national television, the 73 year-old hit back.

"Anyone who makes a profit off the Royal Family becomes shunned.

"But I could have made well over $100,000 by just doing a talk show."

WATCH: Thomas Markle says Meghan cried when he told her he wouldn't be able to attend the wedding.

"So if I moved to London and started selling cups with my daughter's face on, would they shun me? The Royal Family is living by rules that are outdated.

"Half of Great Britain seems to make a fortune selling pictures of my daughter and her husband. Are they shunned?

"I have already apologised to the Royal Family. I honestly think that if the Queen took the time to think that she would not see me because I did some stupid photographs, that is ridiculous.

"I have had a fairly successful life. I'm fairly outspoken about certain things but I'm no different to any other father."

Duchess Meghan was reportedly blindsided by her father's appearance on television and that was when the cracks really began to show in their relationship.

When he claimed Meghan was "terrified" by royal life

"I see it in her eyes, I see it in her face and I see it in her smile."
"I see it in her eyes, I see it in her face and I see it in her smile."

After a few royal engagements, Thomas Markle spoke out to The Sun on Sunday saying his daughter looked "terrified" in her new role and that she's "in deeper" than him.

"I see it in her eyes, I see it in her face and I see it in her smile.

"I've seen her smile for years. I know her smile. I don't like the one I'm seeing now.

"This one isn't even a stage smile – this is a pained smile.

"That might be just having a couple of bad days. I don't know. It really worries me. I think she's under too much pressure.

"There's a high price to pay to be married to that family."

He also commented that his daughter "seems like something out of an old movie," when it comes to the strict outfit rules she must abide by.

"Why in 2018 are we dressing like the 1930s? Why do they have to cover their knees?

"I'm not blaming Harry or anyone but they are following rules that don't make sense to me.

"They are no less human than anybody else. God knows, I feel sorry for them, for not being able to show emotion."

When he was cut off by Kensington Palace

Thomas Markle has no way of contacting his daughter.
Thomas Markle has no way of contacting his daughter.

Thomas' comments caught up with him when Kensington Palace made it impossible for him to contact Meghan.

"I'm really hurt that she's cut me off completely. I used to have a phone number and text for her personal aides at the palace, but after I said a few critical words about the royal family changing Meghan, they cut me off. Those numbers were disconnected. I have no way of contacting my daughter.

"Perhaps it would be easier for her if I died. Everybody would be filled with sympathy for her. But I hope we reconcile. I'd hate to die without speaking to her again."

But when it came to his son-in-law, he was not so fussed.

"I don't care if Harry never speaks to me again, I'll survive."

When he criticised the Queen for not agreeing to see him

Thomas Markle didn't appreciate it when the Queen met with Donald Trump and not him.
Thomas Markle didn't appreciate it when the Queen met with Donald Trump and not him.

When it was confirmed that US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump would be visiting the Queen on their official visit to the UK, Thomas Markle was not impressed.

"If the Queen is willing to meet our arrogant and insensitive president she has no excuse not to meet me, I'm nowhere near as bad," he told TMZ.

Surprise surprise, his comment did not lead to an invitation to Buckingham Palace from Her Majesty.

When he refused to keep quiet

Thomas only dug himself into a deeper hole when he just kept talking.

"I've just about reached my limit with Meghan and the royal family. They want me to be silent, they want me to just go away. But I won't be silenced. I refuse to stay quiet. What riles me is Meghan's sense of superiority. She'd be nothing without me. I made her the Duchess she is today. Everything Meghan is, I made her."

"I made her the Duchess she is today. Everything Meghan is, I made her."
"I made her the Duchess she is today. Everything Meghan is, I made her."

When he criticised Princess Diana

To make matters worse, the Markle patriarch made some ill-advised comments about Prince Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, when he was explaining his poor treatment from the royals.

"They [the royal family] have Meghan treating her father in a way Harry's mother, Princess Diana, would have loathed. That's not what Diana stood for. Princess Diana is credited with changing the royal family, but she wasn't perfect. She was still very much one of them."

When he came after his ex-wife and Meghan's mum, Doria Ragland

As the only family member on Meghan's side who was present at the royal wedding, Doria received a lot of praise and was welcomed by the Windsors on the big day. But her ex-husband didn't appreciate it when she was portrayed as the golden parent.

"She's a mummy's girl now and Doria gets a lot of the credit. But Meghan seems to have forgotten she lived with me until Doria and I divorced when she was six, and I was still a big part of her life. She became the woman she is today thanks to everything I did for her."

Doria was the only family member of Meghan's who attended the wedding.
Doria was the only family member of Meghan's who attended the wedding.

When he hung up on Prince Harry

"I felt disrespected by them. I was recovering from a heart attack, lying in a bed, having a phone call, and the things were being said that hurt me. I felt like I was being blamed for my mistakes when I was in my hospital bed recovering from a heart attack.

"Then I hung up.

"I'm not mad at Harry. I'm not mad at Meghan. I love them. I wish them well," he said. "But as for the rest of it, f--- it. I'm done."