What has disappointed Meghan Markle the most

Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, has revealed he is “disappointed” at Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back as “senior” members of the Royal Family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the shock announcement on Wednesday evening, revealing they plan to become financially independent.

The couple also plan to split their time between the UK and North America.

Just hours after the news was shared on Sussex Royal Instagram, Meghan’s estranged father spoke out, telling Us Weekly: “I’ll just simply say I’m disappointed.” 

The 74-year-old has reportedly not spoken to the Duchess of Sussex since just after her wedding in May 2018, which he did not attend.  

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Her father admitted he staged paparazzi photos for money and subsequently pulled out of walking his daughter down the aisle, reportedly due to health problems.

Mr Markle has also never met Prince Harry in person, but has spoken on the phone to him.

Since the wedding, Meghan’s father has given numerous interviews to the press and TV channels, including sharing excerpts of a five-page letter Meghan wrote him in August last year.

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Following the birth of the couple’s son, Archie, last May Meghan’s father shared his sadness at not being invited to attend the christening of his grandson.

Mr Markle said he would have liked to have been present at the service, which took place in July at a private chapel at Windsor Castle.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the retired lighting director said: “I have been asked if I would have liked to have gone to Britain to see my new grandson being christened.

“I was an altar boy at age 12, a confirmed member of the Queen's church at age 14, and Archie is my new grandson, so of course I would have enjoyed being there for the blessing, wishing Archie and his parents health and happiness.”

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed on Wednesday that they will be stepping back from royal duties as members of the royal family after “many months of reflection and internal discussions.” 

It is understood that The Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were not aware of the timing of the statement.

Buckingham Palace responded to reveal discussions with Harry and Meghan about their decision were “at an early stage”, going on to explain that the situation would be “complicated”.

“Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement read.

“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

The Duke and Duchess have recently returned to the UK after a six-week break from royal duties, in order to spend “much-needed family time” over Christmas with baby Archie.