Duchess Meghan was set to return to the UK for the Queen's Jubilee, but one other person was also planning on being in London at the same time — her father. He had a misfortune that would prevent him from being present.
Duchess Meghan was born as a biracial child to a Black mother, Doria Ragland, and a White father, Thomas Markle Sr. Her parents are no longer together, and the royal is closer to her mother than her father.
When she and Prince Harry started seeing each other, Meghan took Ragland to London to meet him. The parent was also meant to be present at the couple's royal 2018 wedding day, where he was supposed to walk his daughter down the aisle.
Duchess Meghan visits New Zealand House to sign a book of condolence on behalf of The Royal Family on March 19, 2019, in London, England. | Source: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Thomas Sr. failed to attend his daughter's wedding after he allegedly staged paparazzi photos before the special day. He claimed he was in poor health when questioned about his failed attendance.
The relationship between father and daughter has been strained ever since. Meghan's half-siblings include Samantha Grant and Thomas Markle Jr. with whom she also doesn't have a relationship.
Doria Ragland, Duchess Meghan, and Prince Harry at an event to mark the launch of a cookbook with recipes at Kensington Palace in London on September 20, 2018. | Source: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
In 2021, Meghan's former childhood boyfriend, Joshua Silverstein, revealed that her relationship with Thomas Sr. had always been a difficult one. As a teenager, Silverstein claimed that he never saw the parent often and knew Meghan's relationship with him was "complicated."
However, he felt it was a normal transition between a teenage child and their parent. The ex-boyfriend noted that he didn't know what Meghan specifically went through with Thomas Sr, but things "might have been strained."
THOMAS SR.'S PLANNED TRIP TO LONDON
In May 2022, the man who's interviewed Thomas Sr. a couple of times, Dan Wootton, revealed he was set to travel to London. Meghan's father planned to go to the UK to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.
The parent's plans didn't work out, with Wootton reporting that things fell apart seven days before Thomas Sr.'s arrival in London. Markle's was meant to commemorate the monarch's 70th year on the throne by featuring in a TV special on Wootton's GB News show.
He also had a longstanding wish to visit Windsor Castle. According to Grant, her father wasn't going to attend anymore because he'd suffered a stroke on May 24, 2022.
In the evening, Thomas Sr. was transported to a Chula Vista, California hospital by ambulance. He'd suffered pain at his Rosarito, Mexico home but was now "recovering in hospital."
The sudden ailment has blocked Meghan's estranged father from being able to fly to the UK as planned. The incident came four years after Thomas Sr. suffered two heart attacks and required surgical treatment.
His representatives said he couldn't speak when he arrived at the hospital. Markle's father had to write his symptoms down on a piece of paper so doctors could understand what was happening to him.
SAMANTHA BLAMES MEGHAN FOR DAD'S SUFFERING AND THE SUSSEX'S PLANNED TRIP TO THE JUBILEE
Duchess Meghan inside the Drawing Room during a visit to Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018, in Cardiff, Wales. | Source: Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images
TMZ was one of the first outlets to report Thomas Sr.'s medical emergency. The publication, which also had footage of Meghan's father being transported by medical staff, revealed how he was loaded into an ambulance in Tijuana.
The paramedics put him on oxygen and left to go to a hospital across the border in Chula Vista at around 9:30 p.m. The retired television lighting director's eldest daughter, Grant, told Daily Mail that the family asked for privacy.
"That is unforgivable.”
On May 26, 2022, an emotional Grant appeared on GB News and revealed her father was "doing better" and "in good spirits." She shared that the stroke might have been fatal if they hadn't gotten Thomas Sr. emergency care immediately.
One of the other things Meghan's father had looked forward to was reuniting with her and Harry. If the royals met with Thomas Sr., it would've been the first time he'd get introduced to his two small grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet.
Grant felt it would be a "shame" if her half-sister failed to reach out to their father after everything that had happened to him. The older sister said Meghan's moral obligation was to reach out to Thomas Sr. and fix things because there wasn't much time.
[Prince] Harry allegedly wanted to improve his relationship with his family in the UK.
It stands to be seen how the Sussexes will respond to Thomas Sr.'s emergency. Harry and Meghan's return to the UK was meant to be their first public appearance in the UK since they stepped back from their senior royal roles in 2020.
The entertainment editor of Australia's "The Morning Show," Peter Ford, thought the Duchess of Sussex was in a no-win situation. Either she reached out to her father, put a statement out, and not visit, ignore the whole thing, or pay him a visit.
On the other hand, the Queen has had her bouts of ailments where she's had to pull out of some appearances. So if Meghan insists on going to the UK, she'd appear to be cheering the monarch on while her father lays ill.
Prince William and Prince Harry at the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Princess Diana at Kensington Palace, on July 1, 2021, in London, England. | Source: Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who live in Montecito, California, were in the UK in April 2022 for the Invictus Games. According to reports, Harry made time to see the monarch during that visit.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl claimed Meghan's husband was trying to see if he could use a mediator to mend his relationship with his older brother, Prince William. Harry allegedly wanted to improve his relationship with his family in the UK.
Queen Elizabeth II at the Presidential Palace on the first day of a tour of Slovakia on October 23, 2008, in Bratislava. | Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Even though Meghan and Harry were attending the four-day celebrations, they would not participate in the Buckingham Palace balcony appearance during Trooping the Colour. The absence was because they weren't working royals anymore.
As much as Thomas Sr. was looking forward to meeting his grandchildren, it would be the first time the Queen gets to meet Lilibet physically. She's met the child virtually and knew Archie because he was born in the UK.