RICHARD KAY: The Royals & # 039; the handling of the Thomas Markle debacle is becoming an existential crisis

<pre><pre>RICHARD KAY: The Royals & # 039; the handling of the Thomas Markle debacle is becoming an existential crisis

Over the years, August has been the cruelest month for royalty, from the humiliation of the Duchess of York's escapades to the shame of the "squidgy tape" that exposed the family to ridicule and confirmed the desperate state Of the princess. The marriage of Diana with Prince Carlos.

But this weekend's revelations from the Duchess of Sussex's father in which he claimed that Prince Harry had reprimanded him on the phone while recovering in the hospital from a heart attack, and that his daughter had told him he could not have a father … the speech of the bride at her wedding, is quickly becoming an existential crisis for the Queen's family.

Although it is impossible not to feel sympathy for Meghan, who is finding the adjustment to real life strong enough, the tragedy of it all is that it is a crisis completely created by the Palace.

I have spoken to the past and served real assistants who believe that the response and handling of the whole Thomas Markle affair has been "inept" and "weak".

Thomas Markle (pictured near his house in Mexico) has revealed that he hung up on Prince Harry

There is even some feeling of camaraderie by Mr. Markle who clearly feels left out by his daughter and son-in-law.

Yesterday, a figure said it was "probably too late" for the retired television lighting director to stand next to Meghan and appear in front of his father's door, and even that might not work now.

The way in which this situation was allowed to unravel – and so publicly – will surely dominate the conversation at Balmoral, where the Queen and other members of the Royal Family gather for their summer vacations.

Markle's claims yesterday are disturbing. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he said he had hanged Harry during a heated phone call a few days before the May wedding.

Although he accepted that the prince was right to reprimand him for his conspiracy with the paparazzi in which he organized photographs of him being equipped for a morning outfit, he described the timing of the call as "rude".

While admitting that he lied to Harry about it, he added: "There is a time and a place to say what he said, but not when I am in the hospital after a heart attack."

Perhaps it was more damaging to her revelation that Meghan told her there would be no "space" for her to deliver a speech at her wedding in Windsor. However, space was found for Harry's speeches, Meghan herself, Prince Charles and Prince William, along with the contributions of two friends at a later reception.

For the royal family, this is a dangerous and unknown territory. Even when Diana was causing damaging headlines there was seldom a feeling that the Palace had completely lost control like there is today.

Markle emerges as a bitter but proud man who is angry at the way he has been portrayed: "I'm not a weird, lazy father living in a hut in Mexico," he exclaims at one point, but he also burns with The injustice of how he perceives has been dealt with by his daughter and Harry.

Markle, 74, made headlines when he retired from the wedding a few days before he went to walk with Meghan down the St. George's Chapel, citing his health problems. (By coincidence, a decision that came 24 hours after his plot with the paparazzi had been exposed).

Mr. Markle, photographed with his daughter, said he had not spoken to the new duchess in months

Mr. Markle, photographed with his daughter, said he had not spoken to the new duchess in months

Mr. Markle, photographed with his daughter, said he had not spoken to the new duchess in months

At one stage he complains that while his ex-wife Doria, who went to the wedding, had been treated with great dignity by the officials, he had not been granted such courtesies.

He asserts, for example, that when the couple's engagement was revealed in March, two representatives of the British consulate in Los Angeles came to Doria's house to give him a copy of the official roll with the Queen's announcement.

"Nobody came to my door in Mexico," he said. "I would have liked the commitment announcement too." Petulant, perhaps, but understandable.

He also complained that he had not received a formal wedding invitation, not so unusual because, as father of the bride, he should be part of the ceremony and his name printed in the order of service.

His explanation was more prosaic. "I would have loved to have had an invitation to put a frame," he said sadly.

She claimed that she even asked Meghan to invite all her half brothers and nieces and nephews, a suggestion that she firmly rejected. And in light of the constant attacks against her by broader members of the Markle clan in recent months, it is a decision that she can now regret.

All in all, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Kensington Palace and other courtiers responsible for the wedding arrangements made a mistake when it came to dealing with Mr. Markle.

Yes, he was invited and Meghan had arranged accessories for a coat and bridal shoes. As I revealed last month, she told him to get on a plane and everything would be arranged for him in London.

A Palace assistant involved in preparations for Prince William's wedding with Kate Middleton in 2011 certainly believes that Mr. Markle's handling has been "inept."

The assistant said: "The perception is that it was treated as a late occurrence." No one came to visit him when the answer had been someone flying from London and explaining how things were going to happen.

Mr. Markle did not attend the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in Windsor (the couple is portrayed together at Prince Louis' christening at St James's Palace last month)

Mr. Markle did not attend the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in Windsor (the couple is portrayed together at Prince Louis' christening at St James's Palace last month)

Mr. Markle did not attend the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in Windsor (the couple is portrayed together at Prince Louis' christening at St James's Palace last month)

"Even after he started talking to the media, it was not too late – when Kate's uncle, Gary, found himself in the spotlight of newspapers [Gary Goldsmith was the focus of lurid headlines about alleged drug taking] He was taken to the fold, not excluded.

"They told him that they would invite him to everything, but if he felt inclined to talk and give interviews, we asked him to let us know in advance so that we were prepared." Nobody seems to have thought about it this time.

At one stage, after Markle gave his interview to television presenter Piers Morgan in June, it was suggested that a leading PR figure could act as an intermediary. I understand, however, that when the senior advisers learned that the public relations man was a former journalist, the plan was abandoned.

"Prince Harry does not trust the media and would never have supported that idea," says one source. "Frankly, they should have been prepared to try anything at that stage.

"The problem originated long before the wedding when Harry and Meghan should have had the opportunity to pay a private visit to their father," he said. "This was long before he started giving interviews.

The assistant adds: "I also believe that the Palace should have invited the entire Markle family, not all would have come and made them feel included and less likely to make the negative comments they have been making."

Another assistant with years of experience in the heart of the royal family says: It's too late for equerries or middlemen to reach Mr. Markle, it's Meghan's turn. He clearly loves him enough to have wanted him at his wedding, so he needs to go and spend time with him.

"There is clearly a question of confidence: will he talk about everything to the next microphone that gets under his nose?" But he did not talk to the media for a long time before.

"I would encourage her to say:" Dad, you are part of the family, come and meet everyone and we will put something in your place "».

For now, this latest debacle by Markle is nothing short of a disaster for Harry and Meghan, and for royalty. If, as Markle says, this was his "last interview," then maybe this is just the opportunity for the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex to take his word and get on that plane.

If they do not, I fear that this domestic tragedy will be further unleashed.

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