Home Australia Meghan is the one I want to hear from on my birthday, but here’s why I know she won’t call: Just weeks away from turning 80, a sad THOMAS MARKLE sees no hope of reconciliation with his daughter.

Meghan is the one I want to hear from on my birthday, but here’s why I know she won’t call: Just weeks away from turning 80, a sad THOMAS MARKLE sees no hope of reconciliation with his daughter.

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Thomas Markle with a young Meghan. He separated from her after he failed to walk her down the aisle for her marriage to Prince Harry.

Turning 80 is an important milestone in anyone’s life. But for Thomas Markle, his big day on July 18 will be tinged with regret and mixed emotions. “I never expected to live to be 80 because Markle’s men never do,” he said last night. “My father died at 61 years old.

‘I have had a good life and I am proud of what I have achieved, but it has all been overshadowed by what has happened in the last six years.

“I’ve never been one to go to birthdays, but I know the person I want to hear from most, Meghan, won’t be in touch. I’d love to meet my grandchildren, but right now I’d be happy with a photograph.”

Thomas Markle with a young Meghan. He separated from her after he failed to walk her down the aisle for her marriage to Prince Harry.

Markle separated from her youngest daughter, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in 2018 when she was unable to walk her down the aisle for her marriage to Prince Harry after he suffered two heart attacks on the eve of their wedding. The couple has not spoken to him since.

Markle never met her grandchildren Archie, five, and Lilibet, three.

Speaking from his cliffside home in Rosarito, Mexico, just 250 miles from the Sussexes’ 16-bathroom home in Montecito, California, he remains perplexed because he has also never met his son-in-law.

‘When I reflect on my life, as you do when you approach 80, that is one of the questions I can’t find answers to.

‘Why didn’t Harry ever come to see me? He has the resources to fly around the world (and he does), but why didn’t he come see me, especially when people in the royal household like Jason Knauf (Harry and Meghan’s former communications secretary) were urging him to do so? That has never made sense to me.

‘What man marries without knowing his wife’s father?’

As he speaks, the effects of a serious stroke he suffered two years ago are evident. He sometimes has trouble finding words or stumbles over sentences. She endures the aches and pains of old age, including knee and back problems, and becomes frustrated when she cannot remember names or places.

Markle has “deep empathy” for King Charles, who is “in the same boat” when it comes to not seeing his grandchildren.

‘I’d love to talk to him because I’m sure he has as many unanswered questions as I do. None of us deserve the treatment we have received.

“He’s going through cancer treatment and I’m not in the best of times. I’m not afraid of dying. It is what it is.

‘I have so many questions I would like to ask Meghan and Harry. The main one is, why have they treated not only me but also the Royal Family and the King so badly?

Like millions of people around the world, Markle watched the stunning footage from last weekend’s Trooping The Color show, which marked Catherine, Princess of Wales’s first appearance since her cancer diagnosis.

But it was the sight of William and Catherine’s three children – George, Charlotte and Louis – on the balcony of Buckingham Palace that particularly moved him.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Archie, five, and Lilibet, three. Markle has never met any of her grandchildren.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Archie, five, and Lilibet, three. Markle has never met any of her grandchildren.

Markle said: “I found it very sad that Meghan and Harry’s children are being denied the right to meet their cousins, who seem like fantastic children.”

‘The relationship between cousins ​​is special. There is a unique bond.

‘It makes me sad that Lilibet and Archie won’t have the opportunity to meet their cousins ​​and take part in things like Trooping The Colour, which is their birthright.

‘They are reaching the age where they will start asking questions, as all children do.

‘At some point it is inevitable that they will ask their parents why they have separated them from both sides of the family.

‘They have two grandfathers who want to see them, one of whom is the king of England. Never in my 80 years did I think he would be in the same boat as the King.

‘The decisions Meghan and Harry have made will affect their children for the rest of their lives. I wonder how Archie and Lilibet will feel in a few years when they realize all the things they’ve missed.’

An Emmy Award-winning Hollywood lighting director, Markle’s long life has taken him from small-town Pennsylvania to the bright lights of Hollywood.

His father Gordon worked as a printer at Olmsted Air Force Base outside the family’s hometown of Newport, Pennsylvania, while his mother Doris ran the candy counter at a five-and-dime store.

Tom began working in theater productions in high school and later joined a local theater group, where his talent flourished.

He landed a job at public television WTTW in Chicago and spent more than a decade on a groundbreaking live music show called Soundstage, a precursor to shows like Top Of The Pops, working with Aretha Franklin and Billy Joel.

After divorcing his first wife Rosalyn, mother of his two oldest children Samantha and Tom Jr, he decided to try his luck in Hollywood. In Los Angeles, he initially worked at a motel, where he rubbed shoulders with prostitutes and an accused murderer, before getting his big break on ABC television.

“I’ve had a colorful life,” he said. “When he worked at the motel he was friends with a bodyguard named Gregory Diles.”

Diles, who died in 1997, was tried and acquitted for his participation in a case known as Wonderland Murders, in which four people died during a brutal robbery at the home of a drug dealer. The case remains unresolved.

Markle said: “They were interesting times.” I loved my career and enjoyed being behind the camera. I worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, like Elizabeth Taylor, and covered the Oscars red carpet.’

Markle became lighting director for two popular shows, General Hospital and Married With Children.

He met Doria, Meghan’s mother, when she was a secretary and worked at the same studio, and although they divorced when Meghan was two, they remained close.

‘We had such an amicable divorce that after I retired to Mexico and had to go to Los Angeles, I stayed with Doria and she made dinner for me.

‘I always looked after Meghan and Doria well and was happy to do so. There was never any bad blood between us until Meghan met Harry.

Meghan lived full-time with her father from the age of 11 when Doria launched an import-export business and traveled extensively. ‘Meghan grew up on the televisions I worked on. She would pick her up from school myself or I would send a car to pick her up and take her to the set.

“Those are the happy times I remember. Meghan had a wonderful childhood and I felt lucky, as her father, to spend so much time with her.

“She pretends she accomplished everything on her own, but one of the directors of General Hospital, Owen Renfroe, gave her a line to read that helped her get an acting union card. That’s what started her career.

His living room in Rosarito is full of memories. A photograph of Meghan graduating from kindergarten at Little Red Schoolhouse sits on the mantelpiece.

His Immaculate Heart High School graduation photo is on another wall.

On the wall above the couch I’m sitting on is a photo of Tom taking Meghan to the Emmy Awards (TV’s Oscars) when she was ten or eleven.

He says: “The one thing I never imagined was Meghan turning on me at this point in my life. I thought she would always be there for me.

‘Meghan was mad at me because I posed for some paparazzi photos before the wedding. She was totally alone and being harassed. A photographer came to my daughter Samantha and convinced her that photographs would improve my image.

“It was a mistake and I have repeatedly apologized for it.

Markle will celebrate her 80th birthday on July 18 but doesn't expect to hear from Meghan

Markle will celebrate her 80th birthday on July 18 but doesn’t expect to hear from Meghan

“When you look at what Harry and Meghan have done since then, like accusing the Royal Family of racism, it is much worse than anything I have done. I don’t want pity and I don’t want this episode to define my life. I don’t want to be a note footnote in history.

‘I never felt old, but a few years ago I noticed when people started standing up and offering me their chair.

“When the drama with Meghan and Harry started, I was already in my 70s and, although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was vulnerable.”

Markle wonders if the royals blame him for his problems with Meghan. “The person he has become is not the girl I raised, but I wonder if they blame the Markle family for everything that went wrong.

“She started to change when she was living in Canada filming Suits and hanging out with the crowd at Soho House (a members-only club and hotel chain).

‘She started acting titled. Things escalated after she met Harry.

‘It bothers me that the name Markle is now associated with negativity. People talk about being ‘Markled’ when they get dumped for no reason. That saddens me.’

Markle will celebrate her birthday on July 18 with her son Tom Jr and will speak by phone with her eldest daughter, Samantha (who suffers from multiple sclerosis and cannot travel from her home in Florida to be with him).

She has already started receiving wishes from friends and former colleagues ahead of her big day.

“I don’t expect to hear from Meghan and Harry,” he said. ‘I wish we could have resolved this situation. “I was always ready and willing to do that.”

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