Meghan Markle finally strikes back at her father and gossip about her — with help from friends – East Bay Times
Royal watchers have wondered if and how Meghan Markle would respond to the months of negative stories and gossip about her, including allegations coming from her father, Thomas, that she’s a heartless, ungrateful daughter and a social climber.
Now we know: Five “close” friends have gone to People magazine to speak on her behalf, “for the first time” ever, to explain how, for example, the U.S.-born former TV actress tried to mend fences with Thomas Markle after her May 19 wedding by writing him a letter, begging him to stop “victimizing” her through through the media.
“Dad, I’m so heartbroken,” the new Duchess of Sussex and mother-to-be is said to have written, according to People. “I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimizing me through the media so we can repair our relationship.”
According to the female friends, Meghan also never really had any kind of relationship with her older half-sister Samantha, never feuded with royal sister-in-law Kate Middleton and has never acted like a diva, either while planning her wedding or with royal staff.
That’s right: Meghan, 37, never demanded to wear a certain emerald tiara from Queen Elizabeth’s collection and never requested that air-freshening atomizers be used to eliminate the “musty” smell in 500-year-old St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
“These are outrageous claims and 100 percent untrue,” pronounced one of these friends, who are said by People to be an “essential part of Meghan’s inner circle.”
Certainly, what the friends are telling People in “candid interviews” sound a lot like the things you would expect Meghan to say for herself in an on-the-record conversation with a legitimate news organization or in a statement issued by Kensington Palace. That is, if she wasn’t bound by some code of conduct that says royals shouldn’t sully themselves with gossip and talk about interpersonal drama.
Of course, if Meghan privately authorized her friends to go to the media and tell “the truth” about her, especially to a mass market publication like People, she would be taking a page from the Princess Diana P.R. playbook.
It has long been suspected that Prince Harry’s mother had friends anonymously leak tell-all stories about her, Prince Charles and the royal family to the U.K. tabloids. It also has been reported that the late princess sent secret recordings to journalist Andrew Morton to help him write his explosive 1992 biography, “Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words.”
It may be that Meghan has learned how to play the royal media game, especially in an environment where she has to deal with a pretty relentless U.K. tabloid press. In any case, here is a summary of what her friends told People on several key topics.
Meghan never cut off contact with her father
In various interviews, 74-year-old Thomas Markle has claimed that his daughter stopped returning his calls and that he has no way to reach her.
“He knows how to get in touch with her. Her telephone number hasn’t changed,” one friend told People. “He’s never called; he’s never texted. It’s super painful, because Meg was always so dutiful. I think she will always feel genuinely devastated by what he’s done. And at the same time, because she’s a daughter, she has a lot of sympathy for him.”
Meghan and Harry also forgave the retired Hollywood lighting designer after he was caught working with a paparazzo to stage photographs in the weeks before their wedding, her friends told People.
The bride and groom still wanted him to come to London and give her away at their globally televised wedding. They also tried to arrange his transportation from his home in Mexico, but “Tom wouldn’t take her calls, wouldn’t take Harry’s calls,” a friend told People.
“The next morning when the car got there (to take him to the airport) he wouldn’t get in,” the friend said. A short time later, Meghan learned he had suffered a heart attack and couldn’t travel to the U.K. Thomas Markle reportedly underwent surgery the Wednesday before the wedding to repair the damage.
“(Meg) heard he had a heart attack and she’s calling and texting, even up to the night before the wedding,” the friend told People. “It was like, ‘Please pick up. I love you, and I’m scared.’ It was endless.”
Meghan never had a relationship with her older half-siblings
Thomas Markle’s older children from a previous marriage, Samantha and Thomas Jr., have claimed that their ambitious sister began cutting them out of her life once she began to gain success in Hollywood as the star of the TV legal drama “Suits.”
But Meghan’s friends point out to People that Samantha and Thomas Jr. were teenagers when she was born. Their father broke up with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, when she was 2 years old — therefore, her half-siblings were never “part of her life,” a friend said.
“They’ve been made to appear as siblings who were very close and then they had this falling out, and that’s not the truth at all,” the friend said, adding that Samantha Markle only sought to claim a relationship after news emerged that her half-sister was dating a prince of England.
“And then (Samantha) began this career capitalizing on Meg,” the friend said. “Everyone who knows Meg knows that the two of them have no relationship.”
Meghan is no diva
Meghan has been accused by some royal insiders of being excessively difficult in the planning of her wedding, including the claim that her demands to wear a particular tiara annoyed Queen Elizabeth and prompted the monarch to say, “Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she’s given by me.”
Then there was the St. George’s Chapel air freshener controversy, which emerged around the same time it was reported that Meghan reduced Kate to tears during a fitting for Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid’s dress or that Kate admonished Meghan after the bride “berated” someone on her staff.
But such bridezilla descriptions of Meghan left her friends furious, according to People.
“She didn’t throw a fit about the tiara or ask for fragrance to be sprayed in the church,” one close friend said.
Meghan also never alienated members of her royal staff or push a personal assistant to quit by subjecting her staff to excessive demands or emails and texts sent at 5 a.m.
“The email thing is such a weird slant on someone who is actually an incredibly organized, diligent, focused, hardworking person,” a friend said.
A feud with Kate didn’t prompt Meghan and Harry to move away from Kensington Palace
Over the past several months, rumors have swirled that Meghan and Kate, the wife of Prince William, don’t get along. An adjacent rumor is that Harry’s relationship with his older brother grew frosty because William, the future king, raised questions about Meghan’s ability to adapt to royal life, given that, among other things, she’s from an American middle-class upbringing.
Those rumors fueled other rumors that a rift between the couples prompted Meghan and Harry to decide to move away from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle, about 25 miles away.
“There is nothing behind the feud with Kate,” a friend said. “It’s completely untrue.”
Meghan still likes the simple life
One of Meghan’s friends, described as a former co-star from Los Angeles, added that Meghan continues to prefer to lead a relatively simple life. She described visiting Meghan at Kensington Palace, and staying with her in her current home with Harry: two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage.
“We had a couple of days together recently,” the friend said. “Her husband was out of town on work. In the room she made up for me, there was a candle lit by the bed, slippers and a robe. We were the only two in the house. It was our time.”
The friend also said Meghan cooked herself.
“She made the most lovely meals,” the friend said. “She made tea every day. It was raining and muddy outside, so the dogs got all dirty, and she’s wiping them off with towels. How much she loves her animals, how much she loves her friends, how much she loves feeding you, taking care of you — none of that has changed.”
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