The honeymoon period for former actress and newly-minted British royal Meghan Markle, it seems, is over.
Six months on from her fairytale wedding to Prince Harry at Windsor Castle, Meghan is faced with a daily barrage of tabloid headlines criticising her courtly manner and warning her against becoming “Duchess Difficult”.
Pregnant Meghan was credited with breathing fresh air into the royal institution when she married Prince Harry in May, but a series of reported palace fallouts and resignations have raised questions about her methods.
Senior courtiers have quit amid suggestions that Meghan is a demanding boss, firing off e-mails to staff in the early hours of the morning. British tabloids have reported she made sister-in-law Kate cry during preparations for the wedding.
Related Video: Meghan Markle’s Father Feels ‘Ghosted’ and ‘Shunned’ by Daughter
Meghan Markle’s father feels ‘ghosted’ and ‘shunned’ by daughter
Thomas Markle, the father of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, spoke to Good Morning Britain for nearly 20 minutes on Monday. He said he has been repeatedly and unsuccessfully trying to get in touch with his daughter, who is married to Prince Harry. “I’ve been trying to reach out for several weeks, every day I try to text her,” Thomas said. “I just keep asking to respond back to me, and I haven’t gotten any response back. I’ve sent a letter as well.” Many believe the family problems began when 74-year-old Thomas was accused of staging paparazzi photos in the days leading up to Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding, which he then announced he was not attending citing recovery from a heart attack. “I’ve apologized a hundred times for that,” Thomas of the photo scandal. “I don’t feel that’s worthy of being shunned or ghosted, that’s ridiculous.” The real reason for the ongoing rift, according to Thomas, is that tabloids are taking past interviews he’s done and writing their own stories filled with “lies,” although he didn’t state any examples. “The unfortunate thing about my daughter and Harry is that they believe everything they read in the papers,” Thomas said. “And for the first year they were telling me, ‘never believe those things.’ But now they’re believing it and thinking I’m saying a lot of things that I’m not saying. And I think that might be one of the problems, but I don’t know the answer yet.” Thomas also said the thinks Meghan, who is pregnant, will be a great mom and hopefully “soften up a little” and allow them to reconnect. “I’m certainly hoping everything goes well and that they produce a beautiful baby. And I’ll get to see a little Meghan or a little Harry. That would be very nice, and I look forward to that happening,” Thomas said, later adding: “There has to be a place for me. I’m her father and I will be the grandfather to her children.” Good Morning Britain co-host Piers Morgan also claims he has been cut off from Meghan after having a friendly relationship. And he asked if Thomas thinks Meghan has developed a pattern of rudeness, based on allegedly cutting people out of her life and the ongoing tabloid reports of a rocky relationship between Meghan and Kate Middleton. “I think they’re gossip and I don’t really believe them. Meghan’s always been a very polite girl but she’s never been rude to anyone, to my knowledge,” Thomas said. “She’s always been a very controlling person, and that’s part of her nature, but she’s never been rude.” And Thomas, who said he would “appreciate” anything Queen Elizabeth could do to help repair the rift, also made a plea to Meghan and Prince Harry just in case they were watching the interview. “I love you very much. You’re my daughter and I’d really like to hear from you,” Thomas said. “Whatever differences or problems we’ve had, we should be able to work them out, we’re family. So please reach out to me.” Watch Kathie Lee Gifford’s announcement that’s she’s leaving Today: Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: You’ll never guess Jennifer Lopez’s favorite onscreen kiss Fox News host Jesse Watters reads texts from his mom telling him to stay in his ‘wheelhouse’ — and Twitter loves her President Trump is a regifter, according to son Donald Jr. Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or leave your comments below.
The family insists that Harry and Meghan’s plan to move out from next door to his brother Prince William and Kate is driven by the imminent arrival of their first child, but many believe it is a sign of a deteriorating relationship.
Queen Elizabeth II was also believed to have been angered by Meghan asking to be loaned her emerald wedding tiara, according to newspaper reports.
It emerged last week that highly-respected courtier Samantha Cohen would be leaving after Meghan’s baby is born next spring following 17 years of royal service.
Another of Meghan’s assistants also resigned six months after the wedding, tabloids reported.
To her supporters, the duchess is suffering blowback for her modernising ways and has become a scapegoat for the family’s underlying problems.
“It is interesting how Meghan… has become such a lightning rod for so many controversies, from the royal family’s –- shall we say –- race issues to the British media’s obsession with pitting women against one another, with claims that she and Kate… are at one another’s throats,” wrote The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman.
Royal expert Victoria Arbiter told US magazine Inside Edition that the rumours of Meghan being difficult were “founded from absolutely nothing.”
– All eyes on Christmas –
Meghan’s estrangement from her father Thomas added fuel to the fire on Monday when he gave an interview calling for a reconciliation.
He defended his daughter against claims that she was rude to staff, saying that “she’s always been polite”, but added that she “has always been very controlling”.
The 74-year-old also accused her of “ghosting” him since they fell out when he was found to have received payment for staged paparazzi photographs.
He was talking to Piers Morgan, the journalist who last year wrote about being friends with the “amazing Meghan Markle”, but who says he is now shunned by her.
Guardian writer Freeman said that Meghan had become “a high-profile example of some men’s inability to understand that women are allowed to say no.
“We have men acting like they have some kind of right over a woman,” she wrote.
As with many families, Christmas threatens to be an occasion when tensions boil over, and royal watchers are casting a keen eye on this year’s festivities.
The press has already leapt on Harry’s decision not join in the traditional Boxing Day pheasant shoot at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, apparently to avoid upsetting his anti-bloodsports wife.
They are also looking at signs of a rift between Harry and his brother William following reports of a feud.
“Flunkeys will be checking to see how long the Sussexes spend at the festivities,” wrote Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay.
“Last year, they were among the last to arrive and the first to leave,” he said, advising Meghan to “steer more towards being Duchess Different than Duchess Difficult.”