It's a match made in royal heaven: Last week, after more than a year of dating, Suits star Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement. The royal news excited fans of the couple from around the world, and, of course, has led the press to dig into Markle's life. That includes learning everything they can about the successful American actor's parents. A lot is known about her mom, Doria Ragland, but who is Thomas Markle, Meghan Markle's dad? For now, he's chosen to stay out of the spotlight.
Markle is not the only family member with a history in television. For decades, her dad, Thomas Wayne Markle, worked as a television lighting director for shows such as Married... With Children and General Hospital, the longest running soap opera in the United States, according to The Sun. The 73-year-old lighting expert won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2011 in the Outstanding Achievement In Lighting Direction for a Drama Series category for his work on General Hospital. He married Markle's yoga teacher mother, Doria Ragland, in 1979, but divorced a few years later, in 1988 — when the Horrible Bosses actor was only 6 years old, The Sun reported. She is their only child together.
Editor’s Note: The Instagram post has since been deleted.
Thomas Markle, who is of Dutch-Irish descent, is known to be a deeply private person, according to multiple news reports. He is now retired from show business and has relocated down to Mexico, according to Metro. The former TV lighting director, who filed for bankruptcy last year, is living a relatively quiet life post-retirement, the publication reported.
He has also chosen to remain out of the spotlight since his daughter and Prince Harry had started dating. His estranged son, Thomas Markle Junior, who he had during his first marriage to Roslyn Markle, told the Express that his father has "become a total recluse" who he hadn't seen "in years." It's a bit of a strange statement to make, as wanting to keep as low of a profile as possible seems normal if you don't want to engage with the press. But tomato, tomatoe, I suppose.
Nevertheless, despite Thomas Markle's desire for privacy, he does plan to walk his daughter down the aisle, according to The Sun. Markle and Prince Harry will say their "I do's" on May 26 of next year at St. George's Chapel, which is on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry was christened as an infant, the paper reported.
He is also very proud of his daughter, and happy to see what her future will bring. Markle's parents issued a joint statement on the day the Clarence House announced the royal engagement. Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said of their daughter's engagement to Prince Harry, according to E! News,
We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.
In the past, Megan Markle has paid tribute to her father during interviews. She has described her father as "hardworking" and "caring," Metro reported. Markle has called herself "a daddy's girl," adding, according to Metro,
He taught me how to fish, to appreciate Busby Berkeley films, write thank you notes, and spend my weekends in Little Tokyo eating chicken teriyaki with vegetable tempura.
Whether or not Thomas Markle chooses to remain out of the spotlight is nobody's business but his own. As long as his daughter is happy, and they share a bond and a love, that's all that matters.