Meet the Markles! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will walk down the aisle on Saturday, May 19, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. While both of her parents were set to attend the royal nuptials, her father, Thomas Markle, recently told TMZ that he is no longer planning to attend.
Here’s everything you need to know about the bride’s parents and siblings before she officially becomes part of the British royal family.
The actress opened up about her childhood in Elle magazine in July 2015 and revealed her mother met her father while they were both working for a soap opera in the late ‘70s. (Ragland was a temp at the studio, while Thomas was a lighting director.) They divorced when she was young, and Ragland went on to work at a mental health clinic and as a yoga instructor. Meghan described her mother in 2014 as a “free spirit” and “lover of potato chips & lemon tarts” on her since-shuttered lifestyle blog, The Tig.
A source close to Ragland told Us Weekly on May 14 that the 61-year-old quit her job and is “no longer working at the mental health clinic in the Los Angeles area.” The source added that she “has talked about starting her own private practice, focusing on working with elderly patients.”
Ragland, who met Harry at the Invictus Games in September 2017, left California to seemingly head to London on Tuesday, May 15. A source exclusively confirmed to Us in November 2017 that Harry had asked Ragland for permission to propose to Meghan. Kensington Palace announced on May 4 that Ragland will travel with her daughter by carriage the the chapel ahead of the wedding ceremony.
According to IMDb, Thomas worked as a lightning director on Married with Children, The Facts of Life and General Hospital through his career. He was nominated for a primetime Emmy in 1986 for Outstanding Lighting Direction for the 58th Annual Academy Awards and won a daytime Emmy in 2011 for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series for General Hospital.
Thomas made headlines on May 13, after the Daily Mail published footage of him appearing to stage photos with the paparazzi. He told TMZ that he looks “stupid and hammy” amid the photo scandal. As a result of the backlash, he told the outlet that he no longer planned to attend his daughter’s wedding, despite the palace confirming on May 4 that he was set to walk Meghan down the aisle. A source told Us that the former actress was “devastated” by her father’s decision to skip out on her big day.
The 73-year-old told TMZ on May 14 that he was having second thoughts and wanted to attend the wedding. However, later that same day, Thomas said he was having heart surgery on May 15, after suffering a heart attack a week earlier.
Meghan’s half-sister made headlines after it was revealed she was writing a memoir titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister around the same time that the former Suits star announced her engagement to Harry. She told Us Weekly in November 2017 that she has barely spoken to Meghan, who is 16 years younger than her, since 2008, despite sharing the same father. Samantha also confirmed to Us that she has been in a wheelchair ever since she diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.
While Samantha told Us in November that she would “love to go” to the royal wedding, a source previously confirmed to Us that Samantha was not invited. Shortly after news of her father’s photo scandal broke, Samantha took responsibility for the scandal in a since-deleted tweet.
Thomas Markle Jr.
Meghan also has a half-brother. The 51-year-old spoke out about Meghan and Harry’s relationship in January 2018, blaming his drunken New Year’s brawl with his fiancée, Darlene Blount, on media attention that he and his family had face following their engagement. (Blount was charged with fourth-degree assault on New Year’s Day after their altercation in Oregon.)
“Meghan’s relationship with Prince Harry has shone a spotlight on our family. It doesn’t help when you have issues and your sister is engaged to royalty,” Thomas Jr. told the Daily Mail at the time. “We’ve been under a lot of stress because of all the attention. At some point you find yourself drinking too much to escape the pressure.”
According to The Sun, Thomas Jr., who has the same father as Meghan, currently works as a window fitter in Oregon and has two sons with his ex-wife, Tracy Dooley. Thomas Jr. was not invited to Meghan and Harry’s nuptials, but his two children and ex-wife were spotted arriving in London on May 14. They also did not score invites, but are set to appear on multiple British outlets to discuss the nuptials.