Meghan Markle’s father and her estranged half-brother have met up for the first time since 2011, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Thomas Markle Sr, 73, and Thomas Markle Jr, 51, have been estranged for several years but spent time together last week in a reunion that a source described as having ‘gone better than expected’.
The father and son had been at odds in the run-up to May’s royal wedding over Tom Jr’s decision to write an open letter in the media in which he told Prince Harry not to marry Meghan, 36, and branded her ‘jaded, shallow and conceited’.
And when retired lighting director Markle Sr suffered a heart attack days before the nuptials, he pinned the blame for his ill-health on seeing his son and eldest daughter Samantha Grant, 53, publicly sniping about their sister.
Despite the bad blood, the meeting between the two is understood to have gone well – but a source told DailyMail.com that real reconciliation ‘will take time’.
The source said: ‘They met up and it went better than expected. This has been going on since before Meghan and Harry started dating.
‘Reconciliation will take time but Tom Jr and Tom Sr really need to make peace with each other.’
But older daughter Samantha, who is estranged from her brother Tom Jr, has already hit out after getting wind of the meeting – appearing to accuse the 53-year-old window fitter of setting up the reconciliation for money.
Thomas Sr was himself paid by paparazzi for staged photos in the run-up to his daughter’s wedding.
Writing on Twitter, she said: ‘My brother did NOT reunite with my dad – it was a set up. You paid Tom Jr him [sic] go stalk at the border and Jr was turned away.’
Markle Sr is understood to enjoy a warm relationship with both of his daughters, although sources close to the pensioner, who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, say he has not heard from Meghan since his controversial appearance on UK breakfast TV show Good Morning Britain two weeks ago.
Last week, Markle Sr gave an interview to his favored media outlet TMZ in which he complained of having been put in ‘the penalty box’ by the Royal family and voiced his irritation that President Trump will meet the Queen before he does.
He added: ‘If the Queen is willing to meet our arrogant, ignorant, and insensitive president she has no excuse not to meet me, I’m nowhere near as bad.’
Markle’s comments are thought to have ruffled feathers at Kensington Palace and come shortly after he revealed Prince Harry’s views on Brexit and President Donald Trump during his Good Morning Britain interview.
The 73-year-old also caused controversy after the Mail on Sunday revealed he had been colluding with an Los Angeles-based paparazzi photographer called Jeff Rayner to set up ‘candid’ photos in the run-up to the Royal wedding in May.
Embarrassingly, the revelation came after Kensington Palace had spent weeks pleading for privacy on his behalf – including a message sent hours before the story was published.
The incident, friends told DailyMail.com, left him ’embarrassed’.
He then revealed, via TMZ, that he had suffered a heart attack – telling the website the coronary had been brought on by his two eldest children squabbling in the Press.
And, with just three days to go before the ceremony, he revealed that he needed an emergency operation to insert three stents and would definitely not be in Windsor for the big day.
Instead, Markle Sr spent the day of the wedding cloistered in a $31-a-night AirBNB in Baja Malibu – a scruffy gated compound less than two miles from his home.
As a result, he is still to meet his new son-in-law Prince Harry but told TMZ last week that he hopes a meeting will take place in the near future.
Sources also revealed that he is hoping to bring his fractured family back together in the wake of the wedding, after both Tom Jr and Samantha were left off the guest list.
Neither is thought to have spoken to Meghan in years, although the 36-year-old is thought to be close to Samantha’s eldest daughter Ashleigh Hale, 32.
Despite their falling out, Tom Jr spent the wedding day in Windsor, England, as the paid guest of a tabloid newspaper – although he was not allowed inside St. George’s Chapel.
Samantha, meanwhile, spent the day at home in Ocala, Florida, accompanied by her boyfriend Mark Phillips and an Australian news crew.
Other relations, including Tom Jr’s mother Roslyn, 72, watched the ceremony at home – although cousin Nick Markle, 37, and his mother Theresa were seen visiting a branch of Burger King near their house in Sanford, Florida, and parading around in free paper crowns obtained inside.
Tom Jr previously told DailyMail.com that he thought his arrest in January 2017 after he drunkenly put a gun to his girlfriend’s head might have ’embarrassed’ the former actress.
He also issued a plea for the now Duchess of Sussex to consider a family reunion and insisted that she would never have forgotten him.
‘Gosh, I’m not that distant,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘But like I said before, when she took off to start her career [in Toronto], everybody becomes distant – even my father got it.
‘He probably got a little upset because he wasn’t needed so much anymore.’
Tom Jr added: ‘She could never forget me. Her and I always got along really good, we spent a lot of time together before she left [Los Angeles in 2011].
‘She knows who I am and I’m not distant, I may be distant distance wise, as in 4,000 miles, but that’s it.’
Sister Samantha last saw Meghan at her 2008 graduation and has repeatedly hit out at the newly minted royal on Twitter, including accusing her of ignoring their father.
Markle Sr, who is thought to be in recovery following his heart attack, has spent the past two weeks at home in Mexico after traveling to San Diego, California, to take part in the Good Morning Britain interview.
He lives in a small expat community called San Antonio del Mar, which sits approximately 16 miles south of the US border crossing at San Ysidro.
Including Rosarito itself, the area is home to approximately 30,000 US expatriates – most drawn to the area by the low cost of living which includes renting a two-bedroom apartment for as little as $500-per-month and $3 taco plates.
But like the rest of Baja California, the area is plagued by violence – all due to an ongoing turf war between the Jalisco and Sonora cartels.
As a result, a recent episode of NBC’s Dateline dubbed Tijuana ‘the most dangerous city in Mexico’ with one local morgue operator likening it to a
warzone and revealing he sees up to eight murder victims a day.
If Tom Jr. can get there, so can Meghan Markle, she has ghosted her dad, how cold inhumane can a person get! Regardless that’s your daddy that you give all the credit in the world too or was that for PR also? Charity starts at home, you’re not humanitarian like you sold yourself and you prove to the world what you will do for fame.
Sam Grant spend some of the Tab money and go see your dad!