THOMAS Markle was leading an quiet life in Mexico when he was suddenly thrust into the spotlight by his Royal daughter.
We explain everything you need to know about the father of the Duchess of Sussex.
Who is Thomas Markle?
He was the son of Doris May Rita and Gordon Arnold Markle and has two brothers.
Thomas was raised in Newport, Pennsylvania.
He is a former television lighting director working on iconic US shows including Married with Children and General Hospital.
Thomas Markle married Doria Ragland in 1979.
The family settled down in The Valley, LA, but Thomas and Doria split in 1987.
Meghan was six years old at the time.
He now is retired and living in Rosarito, Mexico.
Although now retired he made a name for himself as a lighting director and director of photography on a number of US TV shows and won numerous awards.
He worked as a lighting director at WTTW-TV Channel 11 in the 1970s and won a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for his lighting design work on the channel’s Made in Chicago programme in 1975.
He also worked on the television series General Hospital and Married… with Children.
Thomas was the co-recipient of two Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on the long-running soap opera General Hospital in 1982 and 2011.
He was also nominated, along with two other co-nominees, for a Primetime Emmy Award in 1986 for Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Miniseries or a Special for the lighting design for the 58th Academy Awards.
When was he married to Doria Ragland?
Thomas’ first wife was secretary Roslyn Loveless and the couple married in 1964.
They met a year earlier at an on-campus party at the University of Chicago.
The pair divorced in 1975.
Thomas and Doria Ragland married in 1979 at the Self-Realisation Fellowship Temple of Paramahansa Yogananda in Hollywood, Los Angeles on December 23.
Born in 1956, Doria is the daughter of Jeanette Arnold and Alvin Ragland.
Doria has two older maternal half-siblings and a younger paternal half-brother.
She worked as a make-up artist when she met Thomas.
Doria gave birth to Rachel Meghan Markle in 1981, who married Prince Harry in 2018 and became the Duchess of Sussex.
She is said to have a close relationship with her daughter and was the only member of Meghan’s family to attend her wedding to Prince Harry in Windsor.
They divorced in 1987.
Who are his other children?
Thomas had two children with his first wife Roslyn – Samantha who was born in 1964 and Thomas Markle Jr, who was born two years later.
Samantha Markle was born in November 1964 and now lives with her boyfriend Mark Philips in Belleview, Florida.
She has been divorced twice and also been through personal bankruptcy.
She was diagnosed with having mulitple sclerosis in 2008 and has to use a wheelchair.
Samantha is estranged from all three of her children, her mother, her brother and her half-sister, Meghan.
In the past she has blamed her estrangement from Meghan Markle on Doria Ragland and has called Meghan a “shallow social climber”.
However, she initially appeared to have changed her mind, calling her half-sister: “very animated, very charming, very lively”, and “absolutely lovely”.
But since then she has reverted to criticising the Duchess of Sussex on social media.
Thomas Markle Jr
Markle Jr now lives with his fiancee Darlene Blount in Grants Pass, Oregon where he works as a window fitter.
He was first married to Tracy Dooley but they divorced in 2001 and then married Johannes Rawha but they then divorced in 2009.
Thomas Markle Jr has two sons with his first wife, Thomas and Tyler Dooley.
He was arrested in January 2017 after threateningly holding a gun to Blount’s head during an argument while he was under the influence of alcohol.
He described his half-sister Meghan as a “phony” in an interview with the Daily Mirror in April 2018 and accused her of “forgetting” her family’s roots.
LATEST ON MEGHAN MARKLE
Thomas Jr also wrote a letter to Prince Harry saying he should call off the wedding as it would be “the biggest mistake in Royal Wedding history” and calling Meghan “a jaded, shallow, conceited woman”.
However he later wrote another letter where he appeared to change is mind, saying he was sorry for expressing his frustrations over not being invited to her wedding in Windsor and added he was “very proud” of her.
But after his father did a series of paid interviews, Markle Jr accused Meghan of “abusing his love for her… It’s selfish, cruel even.”
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