Thomas Markle

Thomas Wayne Markle Sr. (born July 18, 1944) is a retired American television lighting director and director of photography. He received a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for work on the television program Made in Chicago in 1975 and was a co-recipient of two Daytime Emmy Awards for work on the television soap opera General Hospital in 1982 and 2011. His youngest child is Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Thomas Markle
Thomas Wayne Markle

(1944-07-18) July 18, 1944 (age 76)
OccupationLighting director and director of photography (ret.)
Years active1963–2011
Roslyn Loveless
(m. 1964; div. 1973)
(m. 1979; div. 1987)
Children3, including Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
RelativesPrince Harry (son-in-law)
Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (grandson)
AwardsDaytime Emmy Awards (1982 and 2011)
Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award

Early lifeEdit

Thomas Wayne Markle Sr. was raised in Newport, Pennsylvania, the son of Doris May Rita (née Sanders; 1920–2011)[2] and Gordon Arnold Markle (1918–1979).[3][4] His mother's family was from New Hampshire.[5] The Markle (formerly spelled Merckel) family on his father's side claims 18th-century origins from Alsatian town of Lampertsloch, Hanau-Lichtenberg, now part of Bas-Rhin, France. He has two brothers, Frederick and Michael Markle.[6] He was raised in an Anglican Christian denomination.[7]

Among Markle's distant ancestors are his paternal great-great-grandmother New Hampshire landowner Mary Hussey Smith (died 1908) who was a descendant of Christopher Hussey.[8]


Markle worked as a lighting director at WTTW-TV Channel 11 in the 1970s.[9] In 1975, he received a Chicago / Midwest Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence: Non Performers for his lighting design work on the channel's Made in Chicago program.[10] He worked on the television series General Hospital and Married... with Children.[11][12][13]


In 1982, Markle was one of the 14 named co-recipients of a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design Excellence for a Daytime Drama Series for work on General Hospital,[14] and in 2011, he shared a Daytime Emmy Award with Vincent Steib for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series for work on General Hospital.[15] He was also nominated (with various co-nominees) for Daytime Emmy Awards for work on General Hospital on seven other occasions.[14]

He was nominated, along with two other co-nominees, for a Primetime Emmy Award in 1986 for Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Miniseries or a Special for the lighting design for the 58th Academy Awards.[14][16]

Personal lifeEdit

Markle married student and secretary Roslyn Loveless in 1964; they had met the year before at an on-campus party at the University of Chicago.[17] They had two children, Samantha in 1964 and Thomas Markle Jr. in 1966. Markle and Loveless divorced in 1975.[18]

He married Doria Ragland at the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple of Paramahansa Yogananda in Hollywood, Los Angeles, on December 23, 1979, officiated by Brother Bhaktananda.[19] Their daughter Rachel Meghan Markle (known by her middle name), who later became the Duchess of Sussex, was born on August 4, 1981. Thomas and Doria Markle's marriage ended in divorce in 1987 or 1988.[20][21]

Markle won $750,000 in the California State Lottery in 1990 and spent all the money. In 2016, he filed for bankruptcy over a debt of $30,000.[22] He lives in Rosarito, Mexico.[23]

In the media spotlightEdit

In 2018, Markle was the subject of considerable media speculation as to whether he would attend his daughter Meghan's wedding to Prince Harry, at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. He did not attend as he was recovering from heart surgery.[21][24]

In May 2018, a few days before the wedding, Markle became a subject of controversy after it was revealed that he had staged photographs for a paparazzi photographer in return for money.[25] His elder daughter, Samantha, later claimed that it was her idea, and that her father's motivation was not financial but "to show the world that [he's] getting in shape and doing great healthy things."[26] Markle admitted that he initially had lied to Harry about the staged photos and later regretted his decision.[27][28][29] In June 2018, he appeared on Good Morning Britain in which he discussed his personal relationship with Meghan and his son-in-law.[30][31][32] In another interview with The Mail on Sunday in July 2018, Markle said that his daughter "[would] be nothing without me. I made her the Duchess she is today."[33] His continual paid interviews with the press reportedly damaged his relationship with his daughter, with whom he indicated he had not been in contact since the royal wedding.[34][35]

In February 2019, he published a letter sent to him by his daughter shortly after her wedding in which she stated that he had broken her heart "into a million pieces" with his actions. Markle described the letter as a "a dagger to the heart" rather than an "olive branch".[36][37]

In January 2020, it was revealed that The Mail on Sunday could possibly use evidence provided by Markle against his own daughter in an ongoing legal battle between the paper and the Duchess. The Daily Mail also named him as a potential witness who could testify against Meghan in court.[38]

In a January 19, 2020 interview, he said that Meghan is "tossing away every young girl's dream of becoming a princess, for money", and that she and Harry are "destroying and cheapening" the royal institution, and that they are "lost souls".[39] He also stated that he does not expect to see Meghan ever again but still hopes for reconciliation one day.[40]


  1. ^ Morton, Andrew (April 17, 2018). Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1538747353. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Doris May Rita Markle". Geni.
  3. ^ "Gordon Arnold Markle".
  4. ^ "Gordon Arnold Markle". Geni.
  5. ^ Halliday, Gillian (July 16, 2018). "Meghan Markle's cousins could be walking streets of Belfast". Belfast Telegraph.
  6. ^ "Royal wedding 2018: Who is Meghan Markle?". BBC News. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  7. ^ Witherden, Grace (July 6, 2019). "Thomas Markle says he wishes he had been invited to grandson Archie's christening". Mirror.
  8. ^ Reslen, Eileen. "Prince Harry Relative Reportedly Executed Meghan Markle's Ancestor". Town and Country Magazine, 21 November 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2018. It's incredible that Meghan's great-great-great maternal grandfather was a slave and the other great-great-great paternal grandmother was a New Hampshire landowner – Mary Hussey Smith (died 1908) – who had royal blood,' Reed said.
  9. ^ Esposito, Stefano (November 27, 2017). "Meghan Markle: From NU to aspiring actor to future British royal". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  10. ^ "1974–1975 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Winners" (PDF). Chicago Emmy Online. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  11. ^ Ginell, Richard S. (February 6, 1995). "Married … with Children the Best O' Bundy; Get the Dodge Out of Hell". Variety. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  12. ^ Duncan, Amy (January 11, 2018). "Who are Meghan Markle's parents – dad Thomas Markle and mum Doria Ragland?". Metro. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Williams, Janice (May 16, 2018). "Everything to know about Thomas Markle, Meghan Markle's dad". Newsweek. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Thomas W. Markle – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces winners for the 38th Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy Awards Nominations". National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. June 17, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Tom Markle – Awards & Nominations". Emmy Award. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  17. ^ Morton, Andrew (April 12, 2018). Meghan: A Hollywood Princess (304 pages). Michael O'Mara Books, 2018. p. Chapter 2 - Growing up Markle. ISBN 978-1782439653. Retrieved June 15, 2018. In 1963, at a rowdy party at International House at the private University of Chicago, Tom (Markle) met 18 year old Roslyn Loveless, a student who worked as a secretary...
  18. ^ Morton, Andrew (April 12, 2018). Meghan: A Hollywood Princess (304 pages). Michael O'Mara Books, 2018. p. Chapter 2 - Growing up Markle. ISBN 978-1782439653. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Chhabra, Shivani (May 25, 2018). "Did you know Meghan Markle's parents got married at an Indian temple?". India Today. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  20. ^ Jones, Richard (May 17, 2018). "Thomas Markle Snr: How Meghan Markle's reclusive father helped propel her into the spotlight". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Foster, Max; Dewan, Angela (May 17, 2018). "Meghan Markle's father Thomas won't be at royal wedding". CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  22. ^ Michaels, Matthew (April 3, 2018). "Megan Markle's father once won $750,000 in the lottery – and paid tuition at her private school with part of his winnings". Business Insider. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  23. ^ Dibble, Sandra (April 1, 2018v). "Meghan Markle's father lives in a quiet Baja town; but the British paparazzi have come knocking". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  24. ^ Gold, Tanya (May 15, 2018). "Opinion – Advice for Thomas Markle, Father of the Bride". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  25. ^ Durand, Carolyn; Kindelan, Katie (May 14, 2018). "Meghan Markle's dad accused of staging photos for paparazzi". ABC News. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  26. ^ Pearl, Diana (May 14, 2018). "Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Admits She Arranged for Their Dad to Pose for Staged Photos". People. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  27. ^ Earl, Jenifer (May 20, 2018). "Meghan Markle's family drama pre-royal wedding, from staged paparazzi pics to Prince Harry's shocking letter". Fox News. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  28. ^ Durand, Carolyn; Kindelan, Katie (August 13, 2018). "Meghan Markle's dad claims he lied to Prince Harry, hung up on him". ABC News. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  29. ^ Petit, Stephanie (August 13, 2018). "Thomas Markle Admits He Lied to Prince Harry About Staged Paparazzi Photos". People. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  30. ^ "Royal wedding 2018: Meghan's dad reveals tears over big day". BBC. June 18, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  31. ^ Clarke, Hilary (June 18, 2018). "Meghan 'cried' about her father missing wedding, Thomas Markle says". CNN. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  32. ^ Weaver, Hilary (June 18, 2018). "Thomas Markle Is Back and Putting Prince Harry in an Awkward Political Position". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  33. ^ Ledbetter, Carly (July 30, 2018). "Thomas Markle Attacks Meghan Markle, Royal Family In Brutal Interview". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  34. ^ "Thomas Markle fears he won't see royal daughter Meghan again: Sun". Reuters. August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  35. ^ Bailey, Alyssa (August 2, 2018). "Meghan Markle's Friend Says Reconciling With Dad Thomas Is 'Completely Off the Table'". Elle. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  36. ^ Harrison, Lily (February 10, 2019). "Meghan Markle's Father Shares Heartbreaking Letter Allegedly Sent From the Duchess". E! News. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  37. ^ Hodge, Mark (February 11, 2019). "'If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop': Meghan's tragic letter to dad". Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  38. ^ Austin, Henry; Fievet, Jean-Nicholas (January 15, 2020). "Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, could testify against her in U.K. suit". NBC News. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  39. ^ "Thomas Markle: Meghan and Harry 'cheapening' royals". BBC.
  40. ^ Wells, Andy (January 22, 2020). "Thomas Markle says Meghan and Harry won't see him again 'until he's lowered into the ground'". Yahoo News UK. Retrieved March 5, 2020.

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