Meghan Markle Said Her Father Lied to Her About Staging Paparazzi Photos

Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey that her father, Thomas Markle, lied to her about staging paparazzi photos with the tabloid media ahead of the royal wedding.

  • Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey that her father, Thomas Markle, lied to her about staging paparazzi photos with the tabloid media ahead of Meghan and Harry's royal wedding.
  • "I said, 'I just need you to tell me and if you tell me the truth, we can help,' and he wasn't able to do that," Meghan recalled. "And that, for me, has really resonated, especially now as a mother."
  • "I look at Archie, I think about this child [due to arrive], and I genuinely can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can't imagine it," she continue. "So it's hard for me to reconcile that."

In a newly-released clip from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle said her father, Thomas Markle, lied to her about staging paparazzi photos before the Sussexes' wedding, adding that as a parent herself, she struggled to process her father's actions. In the bombshell interview, Meghan also spoke about experiencing racism from the royal family and the media—sharing that members of the royal family had raised "concerns" about how dark son Archie's skin would be—as well as the heavy toll her experience as a royal had on her mental health.

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Meghan spoke to Winfrey about the media "obsession" with tracking down her father before the royal wedding, and his subsequent decision to work with the tabloids to stage paparazzi photos. When Winfrey asked whether her father's actions felt like "betrayal," Meghan explained, "If we’re going to use the word ‘betrayal,’ it’s because when I asked him, when we were told by the comms team that this was a story that was going to be coming out—which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known [Thomas Markle's location] for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama."

"We called my dad and I asked him [whether he'd staged the photos]. He said, 'No, absolutely not,'" the Duchess of Sussex continued. "I said, 'The institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we're not gonna be able to use that same leverage to protect our own kids one day.'"

"I said, 'I just need you to tell me and if you tell me the truth, we can help,' and he wasn't able to do that," Meghan recalled. "And that, for me, has really resonated, especially now as a mother."

"I look at Archie, I think about this child [due to arrive], and I genuinely can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can't imagine it," she said. "So it's hard for me to reconcile that."

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unspecified unspecified in this handout image provided by harpo productions and released on march 5, 2021, oprah winfrey interviews prince harry and meghan markle on a cbs primetime special premiering on cbs on march 7, 2021 photo by harpo productionsjoe pugliese via getty images

(Image credit: Handout)

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Emily Dixon
Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.