Meghan Markle’s father has made major headlines ahead of the actress’ wedding to Prince Harry. Here’s everything to know about Thomas Markle.
Thomas Markle, 73, will undergo major heart surgery on May 16, just three days before his daughter, Meghan Markle, is set to walk down the aisle thousands of miles away in England. Originally, it was confirmed by the palace that Thomas would be by his daughter’s side during her nuptials to Prince Harry. However, on May 14, Thomas told TMZ that he would no longer be attending the wedding. His decision came after he took part in staging paparazzi photos of himself ahead of his trip to the UK. The set-up was organized by his daughter, Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle.
Right before all the drama with the staged photos, Thomas also suffered a heart attack, which he says was triggered by his son, Meghan’s estranged half-brother, Thomas Jr., who made headlines after writing a public note to Harry that asked him to back out of the wedding. However, Thomas checked himself out of the hospital so he would make it to the wedding on-time. After learning he then decided to opt out of attending, Meghan contacted her father, expressed concern over his health and reportedly begged him to come, so he had a change of heart. Just hours later, though, he checked himself back into the hospital after suffering chest pains, which is when he found out he’ll need to have the surgery, therefore making him unable to take the long trip across the pond.
Here’s more to know about Thomas:
1. He’s worked in the TV industry. Thomas has his own IMDB page, which confirms that he’s worked as a cinematographer and lighting director. He’s worked on shows like Married with Children, The Facts of Life and General Hospital. He won two Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on General Hospital: In 1982, he took home Outstanding Achievement in Design Excellence for a Daytime Drama Series and in 2011 he won Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series. He was also nominated seven other times, and got one Primetime Emmy Award nomination, as well.
2. Personal life. Thomas’ first wife was a woman named Roslyn Loveless. They lived in Chicago while he worked lighting at a local station. After the marriage ended, Thomas moved to California where he met Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland. He was working as a lighting director for General Hospital, while Doria was a temp at the studio, Meghan once confirmed. They got married in 1979, but ended their relationship in 1988. Meghan was six at the time. Thomas’ other two children, Samantha and Thomas Jr., are from a relationship before he met Doria.
3. He’s won the lottery. Thomas won the lottery in California in 1990, according to an unauthorized Meghan Markle biography called Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. He reportedly won $750,000, although he eventually filed for bankruptcy.
4. He lives in Mexico. Before making major headlines for his royal wedding drama, Thomas lived a mostly secluded life. After retiring, he relocated to Rosarito, Mexico, where he lives very simply.
5. He’s met Prince Harry. Although Thomas was set to meet other members of the royal family at the wedding, he has already had a chance to meet Meghan’s husband-to-be. Thomas Jr. confirmed in early 2017 that Thomas Sr. had met Harry in Toronto a few months earlier. “He’s pretty happy about Harry and he’s extremely proud of her,” Thomas Jr. explained. “They have an amazing relationship.”