LONDON – Meghan Markle’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, accused his daughter of “cheapening” the British royal family in part of an interview released a day after Buckingham Palace said Prince Harry and his wife would no longer be working members of the monarchy.
The palace announced on Saturday that the couple would no longer use their “Royal Highness” titles and would pay their own way in life. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the whole country wished them “the very best” with the new arrangement.
“As I said before … I was sure that the royal family, which has been around a very long time, will find a way forward,” Johnson told Sky News in Germany, where he was attending a summit on Libya.
The monarchy was thrown into turmoil earlier this month when Harry and his American former actress wife announced that they wanted to reduce their official duties and spend more time in North America.
Saturday’s announcement from the palace followed discussions in recent days between Queen Elizabeth, her family and officials over how this would work in practice for Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38.
Is Meghan Markle “cheapening” and “tossing” at the same time?
Thomas Markle told Channel 5 news in a documentary that he believed Meghan was tossing away “every girl’s dream”.
“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, for, it looks like she’s tossing that away for money,” he said.
The interview was filmed after the couple’s announcement that they would step back as senior members of the royal family. Channel 5 released part of the interview on Sunday and said the full documentary would air “in the coming weeks.”
Thomas Markle described the royal family as “one of the greatest long-living institutions ever,” saying that when Meghan married Harry in May 2018 they took an obligation “to be part of the royals and to represent the royals.”
“This is like one of the greatest long-living institutions ever,” he said. “They are destroying it, they are cheapening it, they’re making it shabby … They are turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it now. It is something that is ridiculous, they shouldn’t be doing this.”
Thomas Markle and his daughter have been estranged since her marriage to Harry.
Earlier this month, the Mail on Sunday newspaper submitted its defense to court action by Meghan over the publication of a private letter she sent to her father.
Thomas Markle said he did not expect Meghan to get in contact.
“I can’t see her reaching out to me, especially now … or Harry for that matter, but I think both of them are turning into lost souls at this point,” he said.
“I don’t know what they’re looking for. I don’t think they know what they are looking for.”
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Frances Kerry)