The reason Meghan Markle's dad says the royal family 'owes' him

The royal family drama continues, this time thanks to Meghan Markle's estranged father, Thomas Markle. Known for speaking to tabloids and adding fuel to the fire, Thomas recently appeared in a 90-minute documentary to discuss his daughter's involvement with the royal family. The special, titled Thomas Markle: My Story, aired on the U.K.'s Channel 5 on Jan. 22, 2020, and according to Yahoo News, Thomas sold a whole bunch of never-before-seen childhood photos of Meghan for use in the documentary.

Not only did Thomas allegedly exploit private family memories for money, but he's claiming that his daughter, who he hasn't spoken to in more than a year, actually owes him money. Yes, it's as wild as it sounds, so keep reading to find out more this latest dose of father-daughter drama.

Thomas Markle believes he should 'be rewarded' for his troubles

You don't have to live in the United Kingdom to see snippets of Thomas Markle's new doc. Entertainment Tonight shared a video on YouTube featuring some of the interview's biggest bombshells. When discussing his daughter Meghan and husband Prince Harry, Thomas said, "At this point, they owe me. The royals owe me. Harry owes me, Meghan owes me. What I've been through I should be rewarded for."

He also claimed, "My daughter told me that when I reach my senior years, she'll take care of me. I'm in my senior years now. I'm 75 years old, so it's time to look after Daddy." He believes that because his daughter is in the public eye, and because he's been brought into it as well, she should be sharing some of her wealth with him. Since that's not happening, he's apparently comfortable selling personal photos to get what he believes he deserves.

According to Yahoo News, Thomas also said, "She's been supported and loved by everybody on both sides of her [American] family. The family that she's joined is far stiffer than the one that she's left." That comes from a man who also claimed in the doc that Harry and Meghan are transforming the royal family into "a Walmart with a crown on it."

Remember when Thomas Markle staged paparazzi photos before Meghan's wedding?

In the Channel 5 doc, Thomas Markle explained why he posed for paparazzi photos ahead of Meghan and Prince Harry's royal wedding in May 2018. He even admitted that he's still making money off of those pictures to this day. "Every paper seemed to want to make me look like a dumb, fat slob," Thomas said in a clip shared by Entertainment Tonight. He recalled being approached by a man who wanted to help change his image by taking what looked like "candid shots" of him. "I was feeling that this was very hokey and hammy, but he was saying you've got to trust me," Thomas claimed. 

Although it's hard to believe (especially since the Daily Mail reported that Thomas' staged pics sold for a whopping £100,000), Meghan Markle's dad claimed he "didn't do it for money." According to Thomas, "I did this to change my image." 

It's also worth noting that Thomas made money from the new documentary. According to Page Six, it's unclear how much he got from Channel 5 for the six days' worth of interviews. A spokesperson said, "We never reveal how much we pay contributors." Interesting.

He's not the only family member to bash Meghan Markle

Just like her dad, Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister, Samantha, is known for fueling drama. But unlike Thomas, Samantha actually publicly apologized to Meghan in October 2018. When the royal's pregnancy news was made public that fall, Samantha told The Sun, "It just makes everything that happened over the last year disappear. I want Meghan to be happy and calm and have peace. Everybody needs to be positive." She also urged the family to reconcile ahead of Archie's birth, saying, "I would hope that — for the sake of the baby, the family, the world and my dad — that leaving him out of the [birth announcement] statement was not intentional. If he is excluded, I won't be happy." 

While it may initially sound like a well-intended olive branch, Samantha doesn't always say the kindest things about Meghan. According to the Daily Mail, Samantha — who hasn't spoken directly to Meghan in a decade — said in October 2019: "I think it is really ludicrous that someone who is escorted around the world by millions of dollars worth of security on private jets as a millionaire could ever complain about anything." Samantha defended her own actions by asserting: "Telling the truth is not being mean." Yikes.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry continue to take the high road

Instead of succumbing to family-fueled tabloid drama, Meghan Markle repeatedly rises above it. That's also reflected in her and Prince Harry's recent decision to step back from the spotlight. As they wrote on their website, the Sussexes plan to "raise [their] son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing [their] family with the space to focus on the next chapter." In other words, they want some well-deserved privacy.

Back in October 2019, Harry called attention to tabloid attention going too far by announcing a lawsuit and writing: "There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face — as so many of you can relate to — I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been." 

It's easy to imagine that it's equally "painful" for Meghan to deal with her strained relationship with her father. As for whether a reconciliation is possible, Thomas doesn't sound optimistic. In the Channel 5 documentary, he says, "The last time they might see me is being lowered into the ground. I don't think at this point they're thrilled to see me or want to talk to me." Wow, here's hoping that's not actually the case and that if they do reconcile, it happens in a peaceful, private way.