Royal Baby: Who are the Markles?

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby will have a host of relatives he or she is unlikely to see much of, if at all – the Markles.

While Meghan is close to her mother Doria Ragland, the remainder of her family did not attend her star-studded royal wedding.

Royal wedding
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland seated on her own at the royal wedding (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Markles were branded by one newspaper a “motley collection of individuals who, between them, have a long record of boozing, bust-ups and bankruptcies”.

Here’s a look at Meghan’s relatives on the Markle side:

Father – Thomas Markle

Thomas Markle pulled out of walking his daughter down the aisle at the last minute after being caught posing for staged paparazzi photographs and reportedly falling ill.

He went on to sell his story to the press, appearing on Good Morning Britain to reveal how Meghan, whom he calls by the nickname Bean, cried when he said he could not attend her big day.

He also indiscreetly shared conversations he had with Harry about Donald Trump and Brexit, and said he expected Harry and Meghan to have children soon.

Mr Markle, who has yet to meet Harry face to face, gave other interviews with the Mail on Sunday, in which he complained Meghan had cut him off and not contacted him since the wedding.

He declared how it might be easier for his daughter if he died, and said he put the phone down on Harry after a heated discussion about the press.

Royal visit to Singapore and Australia
Thomas Markle reportedly put the phone down on Harry (Steve Parsons/PA)

The former TV lighting director, who is of Dutch and Irish descent, worked on shows such as hit sitcom Married … With Children and popular US drama General Hospital.

He won two Emmys for his team’s work on General Hospital and was nominated for countless others.

Meghan is his only child from his second marriage to Doria Ragland. He has two older children from his first marriage to Roslyn Markle.

Before his daughter began dating royalty, he lived a quiet life in Mexico and filed for bankruptcy in 2016 after reports that he failed to pay his debts.

Meghan said she had “always cared” for Mr Markle after he pulled out of the wedding.

She was previously gushing about her “thoughtful, inspiring” father.

Writing on her lifestyle blog, she told how he believed in her “grand dream” of becoming an actress, and paid tribute to “the blood, sweat and tears this man …invested in my future so that I could grow up to have so much”.

She added: “It’s safe to say I have always been a daddy’s girl.”

Meghan revealed how one Christmas he created a customised Barbie family for her when they were only sold in sets of white dolls or black dolls.

Half Sister – Samantha Markle

Samantha Markle, also known as Samantha Grant, has see-sawed between criticising and praising Meghan on social media.

She vented her fury after the wedding, accusing the duchess on Twitter of hypocrisy and being cold and inhumane in her treatment of her father.

But she also later apologised to Meghan on live television during an appearance on Jeremy Vine on 5, saying: “I wish things could be different”.

While visiting the UK in the hope of a reconciliation, she defended insulting the duchess, saying: “We were hoping that private channels would be used. When they failed we went public.”

She added: “It was also about bringing out a very important point that you don’t isolate family.”

She is Meghan’s half-sister from her father’s first marriage.

A one-time actress and model, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008 and uses a wheelchair.

Based in Florida, the twice-divorced mother of three is 17 years older than Meghan.

Like her father, she filed for bankruptcy and is estranged from her mother, Roslyn – Thomas Markle’s first wife – and brother, Thomas Jr.

She claimed she raised Meghan for 12 years while she was growing up in California but her ex-husband, Scott Rasmussen, disputed this.

When news of Meghan’s relationship with Harry broke, she described Meghan in interviews as a “shallow social climber” who had shunned her since making it in Hollywood.

She later maintained she never made the critical comments, and described Meghan as “very beautiful and conservative, very real, very giving” and “absolutely lovely”.

But ahead of the wedding, she expressed hurt at the lack of wedding invitations for the Markle family.

Since Meghan became a royal, she has hit out at her for being “cold”, accused her of ignoring her father, branded Harry a “wuss”, and has gone as far as to say she would blame Meghan should Thomas Markle die.

Half Brother – Thomas Markle Junior

Thomas Markle Jr – Thomas Markle’s son – has been bankrupt once, divorced twice and faced trial on gun charges before the case was dropped.

The father-of-two lives in Grants Pass, Oregon, and works as a window fitter.

He was arrested and charged in January 2017 for allegedly holding a gun to his girlfriend Darlene Blount’s head during a drunken argument.

The charges were later dismissed. He apologised for his actions and said he was seeking help for his drinking problems.

Ms Blount was arrested in July 2018 after a domestic violence call at her house.

Mr Markle Jr is not in contact with his famous half-sister but has given interviews about her and shared family photos with the media.

After not being invited to the wedding, he told the Mirror: “I’m not bitter, just baffled. It’s hurtful given how close we once were.”

In May 2018, he wrote an open letter telling Meghan to call off her wedding, calling it a “fake fairy tale”.

He later backtracked and said he wrote the letter in a “moment of madness”.

Uncle – Michael Markle

Former US diplomat Michael Markle, who is Thomas Markle Snr’s brother, spoke of his hurt at not being invited.

He told the Sunday Mirror how he had always supported Meghan and “done more for her” over the years than anyone else.

He said his connections helped Meghan bag a prestigious internship at the American embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when she was 20.

Mr Markle said he would have happily walked her down the aisle – a duty which fell in the end to the Prince of Wales.

Michael and Thomas Markle Snr’s other brother, Fred, is a bishop in Florida.

Ex-sister-in-law – Tracy Dooley

Meghan’s former sister-in-law Tracy Dooley and the duchess’s nephews Tyler and TJ also spoke to the press, sharing a private family video of Meghan as a youngster.

Ms Dooley, who was married to Meghan’s half brother Thomas Markle Jr, has not spoken to Meghan for 20 years, but described her as wonderful, creative and vivacious.

Tyler is a legal cannabis farmer in Oregon.

Ms Dooley and Tyler headed to London for the royal wedding despite not being invited, but went sightseeing during their stay and watched the nuptials on TV instead.

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