To markle means: “to abandon someone or something after they’ve contributed to your life in a meaningful way.”
But is it true? Do Meghan and Harry discard others and/or throw them under the bus? Let’s find out.
1. Her dad, Thomas Markle
Meghan was a daddy’s girl. She has said it herself, “I was a daddy’s girl my whole life, and I was with him a lot.”
Her dad, Thomas Markle, was constant in Meghan’s life. After her parents split, she spent half of the time with Thomas. Then, when she was about 12, she began living with Thomas full-time.
Meghan told Esquire in 2013: “My dad was a lighting director and director of photography for Married… with Children. Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set…”
So she spent her afternoons with dad, and on the weekends, there was a ritual. After her dancing lessons, Thomas would take Meghan to a fancy Hollywood restaurant.
By all accounts, Thomas dotted on her.
In old interviews and in her blog The Tig, Meghan gushed about her dad, and she praised him for his constant support.
But that changed in 2018, right before Meghan’s wedding to Harry.
Many will be familiar with the story because it played out in public. Meghan was to marry Harry, a prince of the United Kingdom.
So the paparazzi swarmed Meghan’s family and took unfavorable pictures of her dad Thomas. He fought back by staging favorable pictures. The stunt was discovered, Thomas had two heart attacks and missed his daughter’s wedding. Meghan and Thomas had a falling out over the fiasco.
They haven’t spoken since, but they have taken shots at each other through the press.
Five months after her wedding, Meghan began omitting her dad from parts of her past. In a speech, she said she had worked and taken loans to pay for her studies. Her family denies it. They say it was Thomas who paid for her private school and university.
Dad replied: “She didn’t ‘lose’ me, she dumped me. I am not lost. She knows where to find me… I would love to hear from my daughter…”
2. Her half-sister Samantha Markle
Samantha and Meghan’s relationship is a rocky one, and plenty of times it is a case of she said, she said.
Samantha is the oldest daughter of Thomas Markle, from his first marriage. She lived full-time with her dad since she was 11. Then Thomas remarried, and they all lived together.
Samantha told TLC: “It was like a gift when Meghan was born because she was so full of life and personality that we became settled as a family, but we became much more lively… We were sort of a little family, not as large as The Brady Bunch, but in our minds, it was a unique, very beautiful… family… We were raised in a very beautiful upper-middle-class home...”
Samantha was 16 when her sister Meghan was born, so they lived in the same house for only two years. But Samantha says she spent a lot of time with little Meghan and that the duo was close:
“She used to call me Daff Duck because I’d make Daffy Duck noises to get her to laugh. She called me that up until she was 12, then she would call me ‘Babe.’ She’d ring me up and say: ‘How’s it going, Babe?'”
Samantha graduated from university in 2008. And a twenty-something Meghan flew in to celebrate the milestone.
In Samantha’s version, they lost touch when Meghan moved to Canada to work on Suits, circa 2011. And she says the last time they talked on the phone was in 2015:
“It was really a nice conversation… Her last words were… ‘I love you, Babe. It was great catching up. Let’s keep in touch.’ And we left it at that.”
The following year, 2016, Meghan met Harry.
She did not invite her half-sister to her wedding and that unleashed a storm. Samantha attacked Meghan in the press and published a book. That was probably embarrassing for Meghan.
The Duchess denied knowing Samantha. Samantha who?
In 2021, in an interview with Oprah, the Duchess said: “I don’t feel comfortable talking about people that I really don’t know [Samantha]. I grew up as an only child… I wished I had siblings, I would have loved to have had siblings.”
Samantha’s reply: “We’ve got photographs over a lifespan of us together. So how can she not know me?”
While denying knowing Samantha, Meghan talked about aspects of Samantha’s private life. She talked about Sam’s love life, the last name she used to go by, when she changed it, etc.
In the Oprah interview, Meghan also claimed: “The last time I saw her [Samantha] must have been at least 18 or 19 years ago. And then… 10 years before that.” But there are pictures of the duo together that debunk that timeline.
Samantha sued Meghan for defamation.
Meghan’s lawyers replied that the Duchess’ statements on Oprah about her childhood and Samantha were “obviously… subjective,” not facts.
In her 2022 Netflix show, Harry & Meghan, the Duchess gave in a bit. First, she called Samantha her “half-sister.” Then, she recognized that they had lived together until she was two. And she even modified her timeline. Now she said the last time they saw each other was “over a decade” ago.
And Meghan disclosed that she is close to her niece Ashleigh… Samantha’s daughter.
The Duchess talked more about Samantha on Netflix and said she does not recall seeing her as a child. After her remarks, Netflix showed a disclosure stating that Samantha has a different recollection.
3. Half-brother Thomas Markle
Thomas Jr. is Thomas Sr.’s son, from his first marriage.
Jr. was 14 when Meghan was born. Since they lived in the same house, Jr. spent a lot of time babysitting his sister.
“I spent a lot of time with her growing up,” Thomas Jr. told In Touch magazine. And in an open letter to Meghan, he wrote: “I remember you doing your first school plays. You were so cute up there, and it was clear that’s what you loved doing. I remember you, me and dad always went to the duck park to feed them for the day... But most of all, the countless weekends you, me, and dad spent with Grandma Markle. ”
He has also said: “Meghan and I had a great childhood together growing up.”
There are photos of Thomas Jr. and little Meghan together. And he seems to have been around after he married, because there are pictures of Meghan, at different ages, hanging out with Thomas’ wife and kids.
Thomas Jr. says he last spoke to Meghan in 2011 -the year she moved to Canada to film Suits.
When the news of her engagement to Prince Harry broke, the press took an interest in Thomas Jr.: “There was a time where people were following me around at work, taking pictures and posting horrible stories… saying I’m a white supremacist, a drug addict and, a dealer.”
His life was disrupted. Needing guidance on how to handle the situation, he contacted Meghan’s people in England. He received an email with “some of [Meghan’s] direct words. She said [of Thomas Jr.], ‘That’s distant family,’ and ‘I don’t know those people.’”
Thomas Jr. says his sister’s comments were “a slap in the face” and “below the belt.”
After that and not getting a wedding invite, Tom lashed out. In an open letter, he warned Harry to stop the wedding. He said his sister would “make a joke of you and the Royal Family heritage.”
He later apologized profusely. He said he had been hurt, that he loves his sister and is proud of her, and he showered her with compliments.
In other interviews, Thomas Jr. has said that their family is not perfect and that he is aware they probably embarrass Meghan. He describes his family “like The Dukes of Hazzard and The Simpsons, versus the Royal family.”
He has publicly told Meghan: “But good, bad, or perfect, we’re the only family that you have.”
On her part, Meghan said in the Oprah interview that she grew up “an only child.” And in her Netflix show, she and Harry also alluded to her lack of family.
Thomas Jr.’s response? “It’s just very bizarre how she just basically brushed the entire family under the carpet like we don’t exist, and then lied about not having a family. We’ve always been here.”
4. Meghan’s extended family
In December 2017, Harry and his fiancee Meghan spent Christmas with his big family for the first time. Afterward, Harry said Meghan and his family had gotten along wonderfully. “It’s the family I suppose that she’s never had.”
Years later, Meghan confirmed those had been her thoughts that Christmas. Harry had “a big family, like I’ve always wanted.”
But back in the United States, Harry’s statement surprised some. Especially the Raglands and the Markles, Meghan’s maternal and paternal families.
The Raglands say they were close to Meghan, and that they spent the weekends and holidays with her.
Some of the Markles live in a different state (Florida), but they saw her now and then. And Meghan was quite close to her grandma.
Turns out, Meghan has a biggish family.
Meghan’s mom, Doria, has three half-siblings. They are Alvin Ragland, Joseph Johnson Jr., and Saundra Johnson. Doria is close to them. And since they have kids, Meghan has several cousins.
Then there is Jeanette, Meghan’s grandma. The duo adored each other. Jeanette looked after Meg when Doria had to work. Much later Jeanette had a stroke, an adult Meghan cared for her.
Meghan may not have seen much of granddad Alvin growing up, but later on, he lived with Doria. A family member stated: “Meghan loved her grandfather very much, and he absolutely loved her.”
Doria’s brother, Joseph, said his family spent weekends and holidays with their niece Meghan. His wife, Pam, says: “Meghan was very close to us, spent many nights at our house, and was good friends with my son, Sean [one of their three kids].”
Joseph said Meghan “was always sunny and had a lovely disposition.” According to him, his niece was born into “a big, beautiful, mixed-raced family.”
Joseph added the Raglands began hearing less from Meghan when the 30-year-old moved to Canada. “She started doing her own thing and got so successful… We’ve always been so proud of her.” He called her “our little Meghan.”
Meghan stopped talking to Joseph and Pam in 2017, after Joseph shared childhood photos of her with the press.
But Pam says Joseph “was really proud of her. If her name was mentioned in the news he’d tell people, ‘Hey, that’s my niece!’ That was a real joy for him.”
Joseph died in 2021 from an illness. Pam says: “He would have loved to have reconciled with Meghan before he died, but that wasn’t to be.”
Meghan’s other uncle, aunt, and cousins have remained quiet.
Meghan and grandma Doris Markle were tight. Although they lived in different states, they kept in touch, according to Meghan’s blog The Tig. “[Grandma] would always send scrapbooks, care packages, and boxes of treats made from family recipes.”
Later on, grandma moved to California. When she got sick, Thomas Jr. and an adult Meghan would go to her house to care for her. That went on from 2009 until 2011, when Doris died. Meghan talked lovingly about her grandma in her Netflix show.
Then, there are Meghan’s two uncles, Michael and Frederick, the brothers of Thomas. Michael was a diplomat and Fred is a cleric.
They both married and have children. Since they too live in a different state, Meghan did not see them frequently.
When Meghan was in her early twenties, she contacted her uncle Michael -the diplomat. She wanted to intern at the US Embassy in Argentina.
Michael says: “I knew the ambassador, and I asked him if he could help, as her application was a little on the late side.” Meghan got the internship.
There was also Thomas Jr.’s wife, Tracey Dooley, and their two kids, Tom and Tyler. The boys are only a few years younger than Meghan. There are photos that show Meghan, at different ages, hanging out with her nephews.
Sister-in-law Tracey says Meghan “loved playing with the kids” and made them “laugh and laugh.” “She will always have a special place in our hearts. She will always be our princess.”
Meghan’s nephews speak fondly of her too. According to Tom, Meghan “was always really caring about other people and affectionate.”
And nephew Tyler says: “Meghan was just a part of our normal American family… We were born and raised together in Los Angeles. I looked at her as a sister, actually, because we were similar in age.”
He also revealed: “She was the fun one.” They last talked in about 2015.
Meghan has four more nephews and nieces, Samantha’s kids. She did not see them much growing up. But later on, she became close to her niece Ashleigh.
On the Netflix show Harry & Meghan, Ashleigh talked highly of her aunt. She said they were like sisters, that they used to travel together and talk several times a week. But they began talking less after Meghan got engaged to Harry.
None of Meghan’s relatives were invited to her 2018 wedding -only her mom and dad.
According to her relatives, Meghan has no contact with them anymore, except for Doria and Ashleigh.
Uncle Michael Markle says he and his brother Fred have accepted they will probably never hear from their niece again.
And after Meghan shared her struggles as a royal in the 2021 Oprah interview, her father replied: “She’s pretty much ghosted all of her family, on her mother’s side and my side. So, she really had no one to reach out to. She would’ve had us if she’d kept us.”
5. Deal or No Deal
In 2007, Meghan was a struggling actress. Reportedly, she lived with her future husband Trevor Engelson at the time, and he paid the bills.
So getting cast in the TV game show Deal or No Deal may have been a relief for Meghan, at least financially. It was basically a modeling gig with a suitcase.
Meghan recorded 34 episodes. Each paid $800 and several were recorded per week. So she earned almost $30,000 in a few weeks or months.
Looking back at Meghan’s interviews, she never called Deal or No Deal her dream job, but it paid the bills and gave her exposure.
By 2012, Meghan was working as a regular in the TV series Suits. She said in an interview: “Deal or No Deal, I like to call it my very lucrative waitressing job… for me, holding a briefcase was an incredibly lucrative means of being able to pursue what I really wanted to do.”
The following year, she talked about her stint in the game show less enthusiastically: “I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet… So if that’s a way for me to gloss over that subject, then I will happily shift gears into something else.”
The slamming of Deal or No Deal came in 2022. In her podcast Archetypes, the Duchess said: “I ended up quitting the show… I would end up leaving [the stage] with this pit in my stomach… I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance.”
6. Omid Scobie’s book Finding Freedom
Those who follow royal news will know that Omid Scobie is an avid fan of the Duchess of Sussex. Many call him her mouthpiece. He is a royal correspondent.
Omid and Carolyn Durand were writing a biography about the Sussexes. And there were whispers that the Sussexes themselves were cooperating with the book.
This was happening while the Sussexes were stepping down. So the book would be a great way of getting out their version of the events.
When the book Finding Freedom was published, it confirmed the Sussexes involvement.
The author’s note on the back of the book read: “We have spoken with close friends of Harry and Meghan… and, when appropriate, the couple themselves.”
But soon, a spokesman of the Sussexes denied the collaboration. The couple had nothing, nada, to do with it. They “were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom.”
Journalist Omid fell in line and contradicted his own book. He now said the Sussexes had not collaborated.
Fast-forward. Completely unrelated to this, Meghan sued a British newspaper.
During the trial, the newspaper brought up the Sussexes collaboration with Finding Freedom. Meghan’s team denied the claim as “manifestly false,” more than once.
To further distance Meghan from the biography, her lawyer disparaged it. She called it “extremely anodyne” and “inaccurate.”
But then, the great reveal. Emails between the Sussexes and their press secretary were disclosed in court. The emails made clear that the couple had indeed collaborated with the biography.
In one email, Harry wrote: “…I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it [the book]. Equally, you giving the right context and background to them [the authors] would help get some truths out there…”
The secretary emailed Meghan the questions from the authors.
The Duchess wrote back: “… When you sit down with them [the authors] it may be helpful to have some background reminders so I’ve included them below just in case. I know you are better versed at this than most but assisting where I can. I appreciate your support -please let me know if you need me to fill in any other blanks.”
Then Meghan wrote a detailed list for her secretary. It had all the topics and subtopics she wanted him to cover with the authors.
Another email from Harry to the press secretary: “Also, are u planning on giving them [the authors] a rough idea of what she’s been through over the last 2yrs?… If you aren’t planning on telling them, can I ?!”
There are more emails.
Misleading a court of law is called perjury and can result in imprisonment.
An apologetic Meghan sent a message to the court, she had forgotten she had collaborated with the book. “I apologize to the court for the fact that I had not remembered these exchanges at the time. I had absolutely no wish or intention to mislead the Defendant or the Court.”
And in 2023, it was Harry’s turn to throw Omid under the bus.
In his memoir Spare, the Prince stated that “a best-selling book” had claimed Meghan received training in survival tactics. “All of which is utter nonsense.”
Which book talks about Meghan’s pseudo-military training? Omid’s Finding Freedom.
So now both Sussexes have called Omid’s biography inaccurate. With Meghan also throwing in “anodyne” and Harry “nonsense.”
But there is no fallout here. Omid seems to still be on good terms with the Duchess.
7. Her wedding
Meghan was divorced when she met Harry. The Royal Family has had other divorcees before.
When the Queen’s daughter remarried, she did so outside of England, in front of 30 guests. When the Queen’s son, Charles, the future king, remarried, he did so in a civil ceremony. The Queen did not attend.
The pair, with the Queen’s blessing, decided to have a wedding with all the bells and whistles.
Since they chose a public affair, the taxpayers picked most of the $40 million bill.
When the couple stepped down as royals over a year later, there was an uproar. The taxpayers were not down for funding the wedding extravaganza of private citizens. Some of them asked the couple for a refund.
The statements were not accurate, and the criticism did not relent.
Eight months later, during the Oprah interview, Meghan washed her hands from the big wedding.
The Duchess said she likes to get “down to the basics” and that she and Harry had wanted “our union between us.” So “three days before our [public] wedding -we got married,” secretly, in the backyard. Meghan went on: “this thing, this spectacle [the public wedding]” was “for the world.”
“No one knows that… So the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
Spectators were quick to realize that was impossible. Under British law, a marriage cannot take place outdoors. It needs a registered venue and witnesses.
Two weeks later, the Sussexes’ marriage certificate came to light. The big, public wedding was the real thing.
Stephen Borton, who drew up their marriage license, told The Sun newspaper: “I’m sorry, but Meghan is obviously confused and clearly misinformed. They did not marry three days earlier in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
“The Special License I helped draw up enabled them to marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. And what happened there on 19 May 2018 and was seen by millions around the world, was the official wedding as recognized by the Church of England and the law.”
The following day, a representative of the Sussexes rectified: “The couple exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19.”
And the Archbishop himself had to clarify to calm down the confused church-goers: “The legal wedding was on the Saturday [May 19, the day of the big televised wedding]. I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false.”
But no divorced royals have married there.
Harry says his brother dissuaded him from those London venues. William suggested Tetbury, a small chapel near their country home, instead. “Isn’t that what you… wanted -a small, quiet wedding?” William apparently asked.
Harry says: “I snorted… Tetbury? Seriously…? How many does that place sit?”
So the Sussexes proposed St. George. “They finally accepted our request for the location -St George’s Chapel.” St. George is another gorgeous chapel, it sits 800 and has had plenty of lavish royal weddings and burials.
8. Catherine aka the Princess of Wales
Years ago, Harry called Catherine “the big sister he never had.” And in 2017, in a Newsweek interview, he revealed he frequently popped into his brother’s home -they were neighbors-, and Kate would cook him a meal.
Four months later, Harry and Meghan did their engagement interview. They were all praises for Kate. They said she had been very welcoming toward Meghan.
Meghan said Kate had been “wonderful,” with Harry interjecting, “amazing… fantastic support.”
A month later, after his fiancee spent Christmas with his family in Scotland, Harry gushed: “We had great fun staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running around with the kids. Christmas was fantastic.”
But that was in 2017.
In 2020, in her Oprah interview, Meghan claimed Kate had made her cry days before her wedding. “It made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings. And I thought… that it didn’t make sense to not be just doing whatever everyone else was doing [pre-wedding], which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.”
She balanced it out by saying Kate had “owned it” and ”apologized,” and that “she’s a good person.”
Two years later, in her Netflix show, Meghan recounted the first time she met Kate. She now implied that the Princess of Wales is always too formal and cold.
9. King Charles
King Charles was also singled out during the engagement interview as having been welcoming to Meghan.
Later on, Meghan’s dad was unable to attend her wedding in England. So Harry asked Charles if he could walk Meghan down the aisle.
In 2018, Harry told the BBC that Charles immediately said yes: “Yes, of course, I’ll do whatever Meghan needs and I’m here to support you.”
Harry went on: “For him, that’s a fantastic opportunity to step up and be that support, and you know he’s our father so of course he’s gonna be there for us.”
But two years later, during the Oprah interview, he was not so happy with Charles anymore.
36-year-old Harry said that when he quit as a working royal, Charles cut him off financially. And that Charles had stopped taking his calls for a while.
He said about the relationship with his father: “There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down [by Charles]….” He added he still loves his father.
In another interview, Harry criticized his father’s parenting, saying it had caused him “some form of pain or suffering.”
In the 2022 Netflix show, there were a sweet moment or two, like when Meghan described Charles as “very charming.”
But then the knives came out. Harry accused his father of lying, of willfully misinterpreting his and Meghan’s situation, leaking information, and even planting stories in the press to undermine other royals.
Among other unpleasantries, the Prince also claimed that it ruffled feathers when someone who “should be a supporting act” of the monarchy -Meghan- “is stealing the limelight or doing the job better than the person who is born to do this. That upsets people.”
That last barb can only be aimed at Queen Elizabeth, Charles, or William, who were the ones “born to do this.”
10. The Royal Family
During the engagement interview, both Harry and Meghan gushed about his family. They had been amazing to Meghan and supportive. In Harry’s words: “The family together has been absolutely a solid support. And my grandparents, as well, have been wonderful…”
In Meghan’s words: “The family [Harry’s] has been great. And over the past year and a half we’ve just had a really nice time getting to know them and progressively helping me feel a part of not just the institution but also part of the family, which has been really special.”
Two months later, breaking with tradition, the Queen invited Harry’s fiancee to spend Christmas with the Royal Family.
Shortly after, Harry said he was over the moon because his family and Meghan got along so well. He said Christmas had been “fantastic, she really enjoyed it,” and that “the family loved having her there.”
Even during the 2021 Oprah interview, at times Harry conceded. “I think, as we talked about, she [Meghan] was very much welcomed into the family, not just by the family, but by the world.”
With Meghan saying about his family: “I think everyone welcomed me.”
But a few minutes later, Harry called his family unprotective: “If they had protected us, we wouldn’t have left.”
And Meghan cast the family as outright racist -not one, not two members, but many.
Meghan told Oprah the royal family had had (racist) “concerns and conversations about how dark” the skin of their baby “might be when he’s born”. She added: “There were several conversations about it… with Harry… Those were conversations that family had with him [Harry].”
She also implied that the family, terrified of having a brown-skinned relative, wanted to leave him without security and titles.
Both claims have been thoroughly disproven in the press.
It was Meghan and Harry who turned down the title of Earl of Dumbarton for their son Archie. As for the title of prince, Archie simply did not qualify to be one. The great-grandchildren of the sovereign don’t get princely titles since 1917.
About security. Scotland Yard is in charge of royal protection. And they said that as long as the Duke and Duchess were working royals, their children would have gotten public-funded police security.
A year after the Oprah interview, Harry doubled down on the racist claims in their Netflix show. He said his family has “a huge level of [racist] unconscious bias”. And he expressed, “In this family, sometimes, you’re part of the problem rather than part of the solution.”
11. The Cut Magazine
In August 2022, Meghan gave an interview to The Cut magazine. It would promote her new podcast Archetypes.
Meghan told the magazine “I’m so excited to talk… When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own story.”
So she told her story. It was a long article in which the Duchess spoke freely.
But once it was published, she was mocked for some of her statements.
A public’s favorite was when she advised the journalist to transcribe her lack of answer as “guttural sounds” and “moaning.” Other favorites were when Meghan described herself as a real-life princess that little girls look up to, and when she indirectly compared herself to world leader and Noble Prize winner Nelson Mandela.
But other of her comments put the Duchess in the hot seat. She said that she had just found her old diary -the one she was writing in while she was a royal.
And when talking about the royal family, she said: “I’ve really made an active effort [to forgive], especially knowing that I can say anything.”
The Duchess also shared: “It’s interesting. I’ve never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking. I can talk about my whole experience and make a choice not to.”
Nine days after the article was published, the Queen died.
That did not help Meghan’s public image.
Another interview came out the following month, in October, in Variety Magazine. In it, Meghan distanced herself from The Cut article and seemed to imply she had been taken advantage of.
About the previous interview, Meghan said: “The [The Cut] story was intended to support Archetypes and focus on our projects. I’ve had some time to reflect on it. Part of me is just really trusting, really open -that’s how I move in the world. I have to remember that I don’t ever want to become so jaded that that piece of me goes away. So despite any of those things? Onward. I can survive it.”
12. The BBC
The full BBC engagement interview. Meghan appeared to enjoy giving this interview. But she later called it an “orchestrated reality show,” in which they had not been “allowed to tell our story.” The interviewer denies the claims.
In 2017, freshly engaged Harry and Meghan did an interview. It would introduce Prince Harry’s fiancee to the world and allow the couple to talk about their relationship.
The BBC, the famous British Broadcasting Company, did the interview. Meghan, like she usually does, handpicked the interviewer: Mishal Husain.
During the interview itself, Meghan was all smiles. She jumped at the chance of answering the questions, sometimes even cutting Harry off so she could speak. She was charming, eloquent, and outspoken.
When the Netflix show dropped with the accusations, Mishal, the engagement interviewer, was on air with royal correspondent Jonny Dymond. Jonny joked to diffuse the tension: “Bit of a blow there. I don’t know who orchestrated it, maybe it was all part of Mishal’s evil plan.” Mishal, who was surprised by the Duchess’ claims, laughed.
Later, on another program, Mishal set the record straight. She explained how the BBC interview went down: “We went to Kensington Palace. We… had a conversation with Harry and Meghan and two members of their team beforehand, and we talked about what the interview would cover, what they felt comfortable sharing. And after that, we went and set up our cameras. They went away for a bit… and when they came back, we recorded a 20-minute interview.”
Other figures from the BBC have also denied Meghan’s claims.
13. South Africa
South Africa is close to the heart of many of the Windsors, Harry’s family. Harry has said that he spent a lot of time in that country during his youth and has called it his “second home.”
So everything was idyllic between the Sussexes and South Africa, right?
According to Meghan, wrong.
In 2022, in the first episode of her podcast Archetypes, she related her grudges.
The Duchess dismissed her accommodations in the capital, Cape Town, as “this housing unit that they had us staying in.” And she said a fire had broken out in their child’s room and that there were no smoke detectors.
South Africans took to Twitter and other social media. They said they had welcomed Meghan with open arms and that she was now depicting their country as an unsafe dump. That the “housing unit” was the British High Commissioner’s sprawling mansion (a residence which the British former Prime Minister John Mayor once described as unimaginably luxurious), that there was no fire in Archie’s room but a smoking heater, etc.
14. The monarchy
The family Meghan married into is attached to the Monarchy, which is one of the most important institutions in the UK.
An important role of the monarch is to provide unity and stability to the country. And the institution of the monarchy is heavily regulated.
So when Harry was going to wed, his family proposed that his fiancee kept her career as an actress. In Harry’s words: “Right at the beginning… members of my family were suggesting that she carries on acting.”
That way Meghan would have joined the family, but not the strict, public monarchy. She could have retained her independence and not be so heavily scrutinized.
Whereas if she did work for the monarchy, her life would be one of duty. It would be dedicated to supporting the Queen, to selflessly serving the nation, and flawlessly representing the country. And she would have to accept the limitations and intense scrutiny that come with such a high profile, public job -which is paid by the taxpayer.
There is no “i” in monarchy, you could say.
But Harry and Meghan related, during that same Oprah interview, that they, the couple, had been keen on Meghan working for the monarchy.
Meghan disclosed she even wrote letters to the senior royals. “I wrote letters to his family when I got there, saying, ‘I am dedicated to this. I’m here for you. Use me as you’d like’.”
At their insistence, the Queen hired Meghan as a working royal.
Meghan was made a senior royal and the Duchess of Sussex. She became famous worldwide, had a generous pay, police escort paid by the state, among many other perks.
But a few months in, Meghan began struggling with the pressures of the job, according to her own account.
She and Harry chose to leave the monarchy in February 2020. And since then, she has talked against the institution.
In interviews and her Netflix show, Meghan has accused the people that work for the institution of a barrage of things, from not supporting or guiding her to taking away her keys, her passport, and her “voice.”
And in her 2022 Netflix show, she accused them of actively trying to bring her down while she still worked for them: “I was being fed to the wolves.”
She has also stated that some of the rules royals must follow do not “make sense.” For example, she talked about the Royal Rota, a system that has been in place for 40 years and regulates the interactions of the royals and the press. Meghan told The Cut: “You tell me how that makes sense [the rota] and then I’ll play that game.”
15. The Commonwealth
Another relationship that has not survived the test of time.
So, what is the Commonwealth of Nations? In short, it is a group of 56 independent countries allied to help each other out.
Countries such as Canada, Australia, Singapore, India, and Nigeria are part of the Commonwealth.
Their common goal is to boost their economies and the well-being of their inhabitants.
In April 2018, the Queen made Harry Commonwealth’s Youth Ambassador. A few months later, he made Harry and his fiancee Meghan, president and vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. Then, she made Meghan matron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
In these roles, the Sussexes could create and promote projects related to education, gender equality, etc.
In the engagement interview, Meghan said she was excited to travel and “go around the Commonwealth.”
And when she married in May 2018, the future Duchess had a romantic gesture towards the entity. She included the signature flowers of each of the Commonwealth nations in her veil.
When describing her veil, she said: “how important this is for us [Meghan and Harry]…, and the work that we’re going to continue to do within the Commonwealth countries.”
In 2018 and 2019, the couple embarked on two royal tours through the Commonwealth, visiting eight countries.
Voices from the entity spoke gushingly of their new patrons. And Harry spoke gushingly of the Commonwealth in turn.
Harry described it as “a thriving family of nations, a common link between nearly 2.5 billion people, and a defender of democracy, justice, and peace.”
The couple stepped down from royal duties in February 2020. The following month, the couple celebrated the Commonwealth via Instagram for its “continued commitment to delivering a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable future for all.”
But three months, later, in a videocall, Harry and Meghan criticized the entity. It now had links to the slave trade and colonialism.
They further said: “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.”
The viewers were astonished. The Commonwealth was created in 1949. How could it have links to slavery, which was abolished in the 1800s?
Was Harry confusing the Commonwealth with the British Empire? internet users wondered.
But the Sussexes, who no longer had roles in the Commonwealth, doubled down. On their 2022 Netflix show, journalist Afua Hirsch says: “I sometimes call the Commonwealth ‘Empire 2.0.’ because that is what it is.”
So they were, indeed, equating the friendly, voluntary Commonwealth with the extinct, colonizing British Empire.
Representatives from across the Commonwealth were not happy.
British consultant David Haigh accused the couple of ‘sour grapes.’ “Initially, they were extremely keen to be… ambassadors in the Commonwealth… Now it looks like sour grapes. They are throwing bricks at it,” he said.
Lin Mei, a political commentator said: “to compare it to the Empire of old… makes Meghan and Harry look ignorant.”
Meanwhile, Aichataou Sanni Aoudou, who is Gabon’s High Commissioner to the UK, told the Express: “Many in Gabon would feel patronized by these clumsy remarks. We entered the Commonwealth… with open eyes and full of excitement.”
Gabon, a country in Africa, voluntarily joined the Commonwealth in 2022.
When the nation joined the allegiance, Gabon’s president, Ali Bongo, tweeted: “It’s a world of opportunities for Gabon on the economic, diplomatic and cultural levels.”
Gabon was never part of the British Empire.
16. Queen Elizabeth
The Sussexes have always maintained that they adore the Queen. They say she was wonderful to them.
Even during the Oprah interview, Harry said things like: “My grandmother and I have a really good relationship… and an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her.”
And Meghan said: “The Queen… has always been wonderful to me… I just really loved being in her company… She’s always been warm and inviting and… really welcoming.”
But in the same Oprah interview, despite the Sussexes praising the Queen, they disparaged the family and the institution she headed. They said things like the Queen’s family had not protected them and that they were racist.
The last claims of the sort came on Netflix. Harry said: “People around her [the Queen] are telling her… then she’s going to go on the advice she’s given.”
He also claimed the Queen’s staff had “blocked” her from seeing him.
And that when he was stepping down, he had a reunion with the Queen, Charles, and William. The men did the stern talking while “my grandmother, you know, [had to] quietly sit there and take it all in.”
In the 2022 interview in The Cut, Meghan talked about her in-laws. She said she had not forgiven yet and she could talk “about her whole experience,” if she wanted. “It’s interesting, I’ve never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking.”
And three months later, in the Netflix show, the gloves were definitely off.
Like a formal royal advisor told The Times newspaper: “That was unexpected. This was a full-scale attack on not just the Commonwealth but the Queen’s association with the Commonwealth. It is an attack on her life’s work.”
17. The people of the UK
Meghan traveled to the UK several times before meeting Harry. She was a confessed fan of the country and its people. Meghan described the people of the country as very welcoming.
In 2013, when she was in the UK promoting her show Suits, she told interviewer Lizzie Cundie that “the [British] people are so warm… I was joking today, I have never been called ‘love’ or ‘darling’ more in my life. So it makes me want to stick around for a while.”
She was especially in love with the city of London. Lizzie says that there is another clip of Meghan saying: “I want to be a London girl, I love London men, and I love everything to do with London.”
And years before meeting Harry, Meghan shared: “I love how British guys dress for the cold… There’s something so romantic about a man in a scarf and a knitted hat.”
In 2021, the Sussexes told Oprah that Meghan had been welcomed by the world at large.
And in 2022, Harry spoke again about how welcoming the British public had been towards newcomer Meghan: “Everybody was just so excited, and pleased, and happy. And I think people just looked at her and went, ‘Wow, what a breath of fresh air.'”
In the last years, the Sussexes have simultaneously accused the country of racism.
In the 2021 interview, Oprah asks Harry: “Did you leave the country because of racism?” He answers: “It was a large part of it.”
In their Netflix show, Meghan also claims the UK is racist. “I’d say, now people are very aware of my race because they made it such an issue when I went to the UK. Before that, most people didn’t treat me like a black woman.”
And two guests of their Netflix show, Afua and David, make the same accusation.
The academic Afua Hirsch said: “If you go into a palace or a stately home or anywhere [in the UK] that represents tradition, you are likely to be faced with racist imagery.”
Harry has also implied, more than once, that the people of the UK do not think for themselves, that they are brainwashed by the media.
In the Oprah interview, Harry related a conversation he had with a friend. The friend told him “the UK is very bigoted.”
The Prince said he eventually realized his friend was right. That “if the source of information is inherently corrupt or racist or biased, then that filters out to the rest of society.”
In 2022: “the level of hate [in the population] that is being stirred up in the last three years, especially against my wife and my son…”
And in his memoir Spare, he was more direct: “Britons, among the most literal people on the planet, were also the most credulous.”
On another front, nowadays Meghan also disapproves of certain aspects of British culture.
For example, in a 2019 interview, she said: “I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a ‘stiff upper lip’ -I really tried. But I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”
It must be said that Meghan Markle does have some long-term successful relationships. For instance, she is still close to her mom, to her niece Ashleigh, to actress Abigail Spencer, pal Serena Williams, and childhood friend Susan Williger; she speaks proudly of her TV show Suits and stands by her Oprah interview.
So what do you think, have the people and entities above been “markled,” as the kids say, or not?