"Thomas Markle brought it on himself," says Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter

Watch the full interview with Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, on episode two of Yahoo UK’s brand new show ‘The Royal Box‘ from Friday 22 June.

Thomas Markle has no one to blame but himself for the way he is being viewed by the public.

That’s according to the royal family’s long-time former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, who says Meghan’s father has not been hung out to dry by Kensington Palace.

Mr Markle’s appearance on ‘Good Morning Britain’ on Monday is widely thought to have come as a shock to Kensington Palace.

It is the latest in a series of embarrassing interviews in recent months in which family members of Meghan – including her father, half-brother and half-sister – have, as Arbiter puts it, ‘crawled out of the woodwork and started spouting off’.

Markle claims he agreed to do the interview after paparazzi pictures of him turned out to have been staged and he wanted to improve his image.

Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle Snr, during his interview with Good Morning Britain on 18 June [Photo: Good Morning Britain]
Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle Snr, during his interview with Good Morning Britain on 18 June [Photo: Good Morning Britain]

But speaking to Yahoo UK on ‘The Royal Box,’ Arbiter, who worked for Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana during his 12 years at the palace, says: “I’m not terribly sure [improving his image] was his motivation.

“He talks about the way the press portrays him, but he did that all by himself. He didn’t need any help. The press just highlighted the way he was living, chomping on hamburgers and going to the 7-Eleven store, just looking pretty shabby most of the time.

“Thomas Markle brought a lot of this on himself, firstly agreeing to the paparazzi [photos]. He claims his daughter by his first marriage put him up to it, saying, ‘we want to improve your image.’ Well, it didn’t actually work.

“He said it was a terrible mistake, but if it was such a terrible mistake then why did he do the interview? Maybe he wanted to set the record straight, maybe he wanted the money. Both of them go hand in hand.”

Meghan, as a teenager, with her father [Photo: Splash]
Meghan, as a teenager, with her father [Photo: Splash]

Palace could have done more

Arbiter says Meghan and Harry could have done more to prevent the situation developing as it has.

“I would have taken control at the time that Meghan and Harry started going out,” Arbiter states. “And when it started to look serious, even long before the engagement, [the couple] should have taken a hand then.

“They should have sat down with their media advisers and decided how to handle this. Someone should have gone out [to Mexico, where Thomas Markle lives]. Not after the engagement or even just before the wedding.

“Maybe the press office is to blame for a certain amount of what happened. Maybe they did offer Markle help. But there should have been some plan made to make him comfortable. There has been a lot of uncertainty.

“This [the interview] is the first time we’ve heard Thomas Markle speak and you have to judge for yourself: would he have fitted in? And the answer, sadly, is probably not.”

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