Meghan Markle Says ‘I Was A Daddy’s Girl My Whole Life’ After Family Drama

Meghan Markle has referenced her relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, for the first time in detail since her 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, as part of her newly released Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan.

Released on Thursday, the first three episodes of the season cover the former TV actress’s early experiences in dating Prince Harry, including discussions around the racist undertones of media coverage, meeting the royal family for the first time, and the public reaction to their engagement.

Meghan Markle Netflix Docuseries
Meghan Markle photographed in Windsor, September 10, 2022. And (inset) poster art for the royal’s Netflix series “Harry & Meghan.” The former TV actress has opened up in the docuseries about her relationship with her father.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images/Netfix

In episode two, Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, is interviewed for the first time, giving her thoughts on Harry and also helping to provide background on Meghan’s upbringing.

“She was always so easy to get along with,” Ragland said of her daughter. “Very congenial, making friends. You know, she was a very empathic child, very mature.”

Meghan’s relationship with Thomas Markle has been the subject of close media attention since the time of her 2017 engagement, when it was reported that the former television lighting director had not yet met his future son-in-law.

Meghan’s relationship with her father publicly broke down over staged paparazzi pictures taken in the weeks before her wedding in May 2018. After suffering an alleged heart attack, Thomas did not attend his daughter’s nuptials at Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, England, leaving Prince Charles to walk her down the aisle.

When Thomas Markle released extracts of a letter written to him by Meghan in August 2018, urging him to stop speaking to the press to a British newspaper, a long court battle between the royal and The Mail on Sunday ensued, culminating in a win for Meghan over breach of privacy. During the course of the legal action, it was revealed that Meghan and her father were estranged.

Despite this, in Harry & Meghan‘s second episode, Meghan recounts, with no air of bitterness, her relationship with her father when younger.

“Even though my parents co-parented well, you think about how that informs what you grew up to be and what you want,” Meghan said about being raised by divorced parents.

“I was with my mom during the week and then with my dad on the weekends. And my dad lived alone. He had two adult children who had moved out of his house.

“I was a daddy’s girl my whole life and I was with him a lot,” she said, before adding: “but I do remember also feeling lonely when I was a kid and wanting to have more people around.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Docuseries
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a promotional photograph for their Netflix docuseries “Harry & Meghan,” 2022. The duchess discusses her early childhood in episode two of the series.

These comments, being a rare reference to the father who has, since their estrangement, been openly critical of his daughter and son-in-law to the press and on his own short-lived YouTube channel, are played over archive video clips taken from home movies of Thomas Markle and Meghan in the 1990s.

One set of clips from these videos shows the pair on a fishing trip, the other with Markle explaining to Meghan how to use a video camera’s wide-angle setting.

Another clip package shows Meghan’s school performances with the theatre department as it is explained what role her father played in his daughter’s love of acting.

“After school, I would see my dad who was a lighting director,” Meghan said. “I loved being on set. I loved it and I loved the comradery of a crew.”

“Tom did a lot for our school,” added Susan Williger, Meghan’s childhood friend, of Markle’s involvement with his daughter, “being a lighting director and Meghan being so involved with performances.”

Since her marriage, Meghan has rarely mentioned her father in public. She said in her landmark 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey that: “I grieve a lot. I mean, I’ve lost my father.”

The royal came under criticism in May for not breaking her estrangement and visiting her father after reports that he had suffered a stroke. At the time, he had been planning to travel to London at the invitation of a news channel to give an interview at the time of Queen Elizabeth II‘s Platinum Jubilee where Meghan would also be visiting the city.

Meghan’s relationship with her father is further complicated through his association with his two oldest children, Samantha and Thomas Markle Jr.

At the time of the Harry & Meghan docuseries release, Meghan is involved in a lawsuit with Samantha over the claim the duchess made to Winfrey that she was an “only child”, and information supplied to the authors of the biography Finding Freedom.

The first three episodes of Harry & Meghan are available to stream globally only on Netflix now. The final episodes will be released on December 15.

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