Duchess Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, says he lied to Prince Harry about those infamous wedding preparation photos, and hung up when Harry told him, "If you had listened to me this would never have happened."
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Markle, 74, elaborated on royal reaction when scandal erupted around his staged paparazzi photos. The father of the bride was supposedly photographed being measured for his wedding suit and reading up on the royal family. After it was revealed that the seemingly candid photos were faked, he announced he’d be unable to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle at her May 19 wedding because he was recovering from heart surgery.
Markle says in the new interview published Saturday that he told the prince he “was being measured for a hoodie,” when Harry confronted him about the reports. He claims Harry, 33, called the hospital to chastise him after the photos were published. “Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead … then you could pretend to be sad,” Markle says he told the prince, then cut off the call.
He says the Duke of Sussex was “absolutely right” to take him to task, but he’s nonetheless bothered by the “rude” timing.
"Harry told me that I should never go to the press. That it would end in tears,” Thomas recalls of one of his earliest conversations with the prince. “He said, 'They will eat you alive.' He was right."
That advice hasn’t kept Markle from talking to British journalists continually since the wedding, though he told the London newspaper that the interview would be his last.
Markle also told The Mail that he was shocked when Meghan, now 37, told him he wouldn’t be allowed to give a speech at her wedding. “That hurt.”
“I’m not mad at Harry. I’m not mad at Meghan. I love them. I wish them well,” the duchess’ dad says, noting that he hasn’t spoken with the couple in months. “But as for the rest of it, (expletive) it. I’m done.’
USA TODAY has reached out to Kensington Palace for comment.
During an interview with "Good Morning Britain" in June, Markle told hosts Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan that he "absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle," though he was proud that Prince Charles took his place.
Markle apologized for staging the fake pictures, but broke royal protocol during that interview by discussing his son-in-law’s political views.
Markle said Prince Harry expressed an openness to President Donald Trump and Brexit, recalling a conversation he had with his daughter's then-fiance. He also predicted a royal baby won't be far in the future for the couple.
Contributing: Cydney Henderson and Maria Puente