MEGHAN'S 'SMILE OF PAIN' Thomas Markle fears Meghan is being put under ‘too much pressur
Meghan Markle is masking the stresses of royal life with a smile of pain, her worried father has told The Sun on Sunday.
Thomas Markle sat down to talk of how he believes being a royal is piling pressure on his daughter — and branded them “outdated”.
He fears Meghan, 36, is struggling to cope with the switch from bubbly TV actress to “prim” public duties as the Duchess of Sussex.
Thomas, 73, said: “My thing about my daughter right now is that I think she is terrified.
“I see it in her eyes, I see it in her face and I see it in her smile.
“I’ve seen her smile for years. I know her smile. I don’t like the one I’m seeing now.
“This one isn’t even a stage smile – this is a pained smile.
“That might be just having a couple of bad days. I don’t know. It really worries me. I think she’s under too much pressure.
“There’s a high price to pay to be married to that family.”
US-born Thomas has watched from his £530-a-month rented home in Rosarito, Mexico, as Meghan adjusts to her new life.
She and husband Prince Harry, 33, visited Ireland this week for their first tour as a married couple.
But Thomas, often seen in jeans and a polo shirt, was bemused by his daughter’s “ridiculous” dress code. He added: “Meghan seems like something out of an old movie.
“Why in 2018 are we dressing like the 1930s? Why do they have to cover their knees?”
Thomas said the royals were freezing him out of his daughter’s life over his staged paparazzi pictures and controversial interview with Good Morning Britain.
He added: “I think Meghan is in deeper than I am.
Meghan, pictured, before she met Prince Harry
“I’m not blaming Harry or anyone but they are following rules that don’t make sense to me.
“They are no less human than anybody else. God knows, I feel sorry for them, for not being able to show emotion.
“The reason I am being shunned is because I made a profit on the staged pictures.
“Anyone who makes a profit off the Royal Family becomes shunned.
“But I could have made well over $100,000 by just doing a talk show.
“So if I moved to London and started selling cups with my daughter’s face on, would they shun me? The Royal Family is living by rules that are outdated.
“Half of Great Britain seems to make a fortune selling pictures of my daughter and her husband. Are they shunned?
“Does this make any sense to you or anyone else? I don’t get it.
“I have already apologised to the Royal Family. I honestly think that if the Queen took the time to think that she would not see me because I did some stupid photographs, that is ridiculous.
“I have had a fairly successful life. I’m fairly outspoken about certain things but I’m no different to any other father.”
Ex-Hollywood lighting director Thomas, also dad to Samantha, 53, and Tom Jr, 51, was recuperating from heart surgery when Harry and Meghan married at Windsor Castle on May 19.
Thomas had rented a £23-a-night pad to avoid prying eyes.
He sat on the sofa and shed a tear at the moment Prince Charles walked Meghan down the aisle of St George’s Chapel.
Thomas texted his daughter after the service, saying she looked beautiful. But he said talking to people since the ceremony has been painful.
He said: “Every time I see or hear about that wedding, I am paying for it. It’s not easy.
“Anytime anyone comes up to me and says, ‘So sorry, your daughter looked beautiful’.
“For the rest of my life I’ve got to live that down.”
Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland, who split with Thomas in 1988, was the only relative she had in church — a fact which saddened him.
He also believes the royals should have gathered around yoga teacher Doria, 61, rather than letting her sit in a pew alone.
And Thomas said his daughter could have used her skills as an actress to heal rifts among other family members.
Instead celebs — including David and Victoria Beckham, tennis ace Serena Williams and chat show host Oprah Winfrey — were present to hear Harry and Meghan exchange vows.
Thomas added: “I wasn’t shocked because Harry and Meghan have friends who are high rollers. They are all stars. But in a way it would have been nice if some of her old friends and wider family were there. I thought it was wrong to have Doria seated by herself.
“There was no reason why she couldn’t have been with the royals.”
He added ruefully: “I should have been there. Everyone was saying I was too terrified to walk her down the aisle, but I was ready to do it. I had a speech written. Meghan looked absolutely beautiful.”
Thomas also spoke for the first time about the chaotic build-up to the wedding — dubbed the “Markle Debacle”.
He almost blew a secret suit fitting by handing over his credit card at a store for big and tall men in Los Angeles.
Thomas revealed: “Meghan had set up the fitting and I had a fake name when I walked in.
“But then I saw a very expensive pair of jeans I liked and bought them with a card in my name.”
He added with a wry smile: “The cashiers were very discreet about it, if they knew.”
On May 8 his wedding plans were thrown into turmoil.
Thomas, who had a heart attack around six years ago, felt another coming on.
He said: “I was at home. I knew what was coming. It’s a sharp pain. After a while it turns into a heavy weight on your chest.
“I thought I could die so I drove to the hospital. After that they sent me to the Red Cross.
“They both gave me an electrocardiograph. Then I went to Rosarito General Hospital where they stabilised me.
“After a day and a half I left the hospital. I thought stabilised meant I was cured. I got out and felt OK.”
When he was exposed for staging paparazzi pictures six days before the wedding, Thomas initially pulled out of the ceremony in embarrassment. But he revealed: “Harry and Meghan called and said, ‘You don’t have anything to worry about.
“You’ve got three suits waiting and shoes to wear’.
“Harry said there would be this guy to be my Man Friday.
“Arrangements were being made to take me to the airport.”
Hours later he suffered more chest pains — just as a minder was set to take him to the airport.
Thomas was rushed to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, ten miles over the US border, on May 14. He said: “I got a real heart problem and felt dizzy. I kept losing my balance and getting bad heart palpitations.
“I called my friend and said you’ve got to take me to hospital.
“I was supposed to leave for the wedding that night.
“A guy named ‘Sarge’ called and said, ‘I’m going to pick you up and take you some place by the airport’.
“I said, ‘Sorry, I’ve got to cancel. I have to go to hospital’.
“He said, ‘I’ll pass that on, thank you very much’.”
Doctors in Chula Vista realised that the arteries to his heart had become blocked and operated immediately. They went in through his groin and stuck three stents in his chest. Thomas said: “I’d like to thank all the wonderful staff at the centre and Dr Gennaro Fernandez. I am forever grateful.”
Thomas is now on the mend but must take medication daily.
Reflecting on the wedding, he added: “I was very happy to see Prince Charles step in and walk Meghan down the aisle.
“I was sad it wasn’t me but very pleased it was him.
“I would love to shake his hand and thank him for that.”
Culled from The Sun