EXCLUSIVE: Meghan Markle’s estranged father wants to see his grandchildren.
On Wednesday, Thomas Markle told a photographer from his Rosarito, Mexico home that he was ready to take the matter to court in hopes of finally meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s two children, Archie Harrison and Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
“We shouldn’t be punishing [Lili] for Meghan and Harry’s bad behavior,” said the former Hollywood lighting director in a video exclusively obtained by Fox News. “Archie and Lili are small children. They’re not politics. They’re not pawns. They’re not part of the game. And they’re also royal and entitled to the same rights as any other royal.”
“… I will be petitioning the California courts for the rights to see my grandchildren in the very near future,” Thomas added.
“Harry doesn’t have too much more to tell,” said the patriarch. “After three sessions with the psychiatrists and Oprah Winfrey, I don’t know what more is there to tell.”
Thomas also tapped his shoulders much like how Harry, 36, did during an EMDR therapy session that was filmed for his mental health docuseries on Apple TV+ titled, “The Me You Can’t See.” The treatment is used to address anxiety and PTSD.
Thomas also added that he would welcome Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, anytime to his home overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
“Of course, they would be invited to my home at any time,” said Thomas, referring to the British royal family.
A rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said “this is not something we would comment on” when reached for by Fox News.
In addition, Thomas, who has won several Emmys, recalled the moment when Markle discovered stardom: “I believe this is the day around the time she was 12 when I was nominated once again for a nation Emmy Award and I asked Meghan to be my date.
“Once she was on the red carpet with me and the flashes were popping and the lights blaring and the red carpet blinded you all over… Meghan turned to me and said ‘Daddy, I want to be famous just like you one day.’ I turned to her and said, ‘You are famous to me already and in life family is all that really matters,'” he added.
The father and daughter’s relationship became strained when he was caught staging paparazzi photos in Mexico leading up to the royal wedding. While he was set to walk his daughter down the aisle, he famously announced days before the ceremony that he could no longer attend after suffering a heart attack. Harry’s father Prince Charles took his place.
Things continued to worsen after Thomas continuously gave interviews in which he criticized Markle, as well as the royal family.
In March of this year, Thomas said he regretted the stage photos that eventually led to the fallout.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Harry confirmed to Fox News that the prince is writing what his publisher is calling an “intimate and heartfelt memoir.”
Random House expects to release the book, currently untitled, late in 2022. While financial terms were not disclosed, Harry will donate proceeds to charity, the publisher noted.
In response to the book’s announcement, a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace told Fox News “this is not something we would comment on.”
In his announcement, Harry said his book aims to tell “my story.”
“I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become,” Harry said in a statement. “I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and my hope is that in telling my story – the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned – I can help show that no matter where we come from, we have more in common than we think.”
“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful,” Harry added.
According to Random House, Harry’s book will serve as “the definitive account.”
“Prince Harry will share, for the very first time, the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses and life lessons that have helped shape him,” Random House announced.
“Covering his lifetime in the public eye from childhood to the present day, including his dedication to service, the military duty that twice took him to the frontlines of Afghanistan, and the joy he has found in being a husband and father, Prince Harry will offer an honest and captivating personal portrait, one that shows readers that behind everything they think they know lies an inspiring, courageous, and uplifting human story,” their statement shared.
Monday’s announcement came four months after Harry and his wife, 39, gave a televised interview to Winfrey, 67, that was viewed by nearly 50 million people globally.
The Duchess of Sussex spoke of feeling lonely and nearly suicidal before they left England last year. Harry also acknowledged tension with his father Charles over his decision to step back from royal duties and his marriage to the biracial American actress.
“There is a lot to work through there,” said Harry about his relationship with the royal patriarch. “I feel really let down. He’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. And [my son] Archie is his grandson. I will always love him, but there is a lot of hurt that has happened.”
Harry also told Winfrey that he felt trapped by royal life and that his family cut him off financially, taking away his security. He also acknowledged that his relationship with his older brother Prince William is strained.
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped,” said Harry. “My father and my brother, they are trapped.”
During the interview, the couple described painful comments someone made about how dark their son Archie’s skin might be before his birth in 2019. Harry later confirmed that the royal in question who made the heartbreaking statement about his son wasn’t the queen or Prince Philip, his grandparents.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately. Prince William, 39, also assured reporters that “we are very much not a racist family.”
Markle, a former American actress, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed a son in 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.
On June 4, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter. The child is eighth in line to the British throne.
The name pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother, 95, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother Princess Diana.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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