Palace Aides Think the Royal Family Handled Meghan Markle's Dad Drama Poorly

How do you solve a problem like Thomas Markle?

Britain’s royal family is facing what may be its biggest PR disaster ever (the Diana years included) with Meghan Markle’s estranged (and rather chatty) father.

Markle Sr. riled the family ahead of Meghan and Harry’s wedding (aka one of the biggest royal events of the millennium) with a dramatic paparazzi scandal and subsequent withdrawal from his role in the ceremony. But oh, if only that were where the drama had reached its peak …

Instead of quietly returning to his pre-royal adjacent life, as we had all hoped, Mr. Markle has been hot on the press trail in the months since his daughter’s wedding. He’s taken all manner of opportunities to speak out, the lot of which have included verbal attacks and insults lobbed at Meghan, Harry, the Queen, and even the late Princess Diana. Classy.

The palace, for its part, has done, well, not a lot … In an interview obtained by the Daily Mail’s royal reporter Richard Kay, a palace aide asserts that the entire situation is being handled poorly, from a PR standpoint.

“The perception is that [Markle] was treated very much as an afterthought,” the aide began, “No one went to visit him when the answer would have been to have someone fly out from London and explain to him how things were going to happen.”

After Markle’s interview with Piers Morgan in June, the palace entertained the idea of hiring a top PR specialist to calm the waters. However, the plan was vetoed when senior aides learned that the specialist in question was a former journalist — a big no-no for the press-averse Prince Harry.

“Prince Harry does not trust the media and he would never have supported that idea," a source explains. “Frankly they should have been prepared to try anything by that stage.”

Charlie Van Straubenzee Wedding
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

The aide believes all the media madness would’ve been avoided had Meghan and Harry chosen to keep the Duchess of Sussex’s extended family clued-in during the early stages of their engagement.

“The trouble stemmed from well before the wedding when there must have been an opportunity for Harry and Meghan to pay a private visit to her father. This was long before he started giving interviews.”

“I also think the Palace should have invited the whole Markle family; they wouldn’t all have come and it would made them feel included and less likely to make the negative comments they have been making.”

Another aide echoed these sentiments, explaining that the means to any end with Thomas is in Meghan’s hands.

“It’s too late now for equerries or go-betweens to get to Mr. Markle, it’s up to Meghan. She clearly loves him enough to have wanted him at her wedding so she needs to go and spend time with him.”

Of course, this plan of action introduces a new realm of what-ifs.

"Clearly there is an issue of trust – will he blab about everything to the next microphone put under his nose? But he didn’t talk to the media for a long time earlier on. I would be encouraging her to say to him, ‘Daddy, you are part of the family, come and meet everyone and we will put something in place for you.’”

Paging Dr. Phil …

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