The Duchess of Sussex’s father has described his “upset” upon hearing about her suicidal thoughts, and said he hoped a racist comment said to have been made about what his grandson’s skin tone might be like was “just a dumb question”.
Thomas Markle also said he thinks the couple live around 70 miles from him now since their relocation to the US, and added he is “available any time” to meet them and see Archie – who is almost two – in person for the first time.
Mr Markle has never met his son-in-law the Duke of Sussex and has not spoken to his daughter since 2018.
He was was caught up in controversy days before the Sussexes’ wedding after he allegedly staged paparazzi photographs of himself.
Appearing live on Good Morning Britain from his home in Mexico, he said he had repeatedly apologised for what had happened and that he speaks to the press because “I’ve never heard back from Meghan or Harry in any way, shape or form”.
He added: “When they decide to talk to me I’ll stop talking to the press.”
While Oprah Winfrey was not seen questioning Meghan about her relationship with her father in the main interview, a clip released later showed the duchess saying she found it difficult to discuss his actions.
She said: “I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child.”
Mr Markle said he was “disappointed” after seeing the comments.
He said: “We all make mistakes… but I’ve never played naked pool and I’ve never dressed up like Hitler.”
Harry caused outrage in 2005 when he donned a Nazi soldier’s uniform complete with swastika for a fancy dress party, and in 2012 was photographed partying naked in Las Vegas.
Asked for his reaction to the claims made about the royal family in the interview, Mr Markle said: “I have great respect for the royals and I don’t think the British royal family are racist at all. I don’t think the British are racist.”
On the comment alleged to have been made by someone about how dark Harry and Meghan’s baby’s skin tone might be, he said he hoped it was “just a dumb question”.
Mr Markle said: “I’m guessing, and hoping, it’s just a dumb question from somebody.
“It could just be that simple, it could be somebody asked a stupid question, rather than being a total racist.”
On watching Meghan reveal she had suicidal thoughts while she was pregnant, Mr Markle said: “It really did upset me… It would have been easy for her to reach out to me.”
He added: “But the other thing is, I would think she could turn to her husband.”
Mr Markle also questioned the couple’s timing with the interview, saying: “Considering the Queen’s age and Philip’s age, they certainly should have waited or tried to wait.”
He said Harry and Meghan are living “probably about 70 miles from me now”.
Mr Markle added: “I’m available any time we can get together. I’d love to get together. I’d certainly like to see my grandson.”
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