Meghan Markle’s estranged father Thomas Markle has accused her and Prince Harry of turning the royal family into “a Walmart with a crown on it” as they prepare to venture outside of the monarchy and take on new job opportunities.
Thomas Markle made the comments in a new documentary, Thomas Markle: My Story, that aired Wednesday night on the U.K.’s Channel 5.
He said: “This is one of the greatest long-living institutions ever. They’re destroying it. They’re keeping it… they’re making it shabby. They’re turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it now. It’s something that’s ridiculous. They shouldn’t be doing this.”
Meghan and Harry and have agreed to step down as senior members of the royal family in a bid to live a more private life. The couple say they will become financially independent, with experts linking them to multi-million dollar deals similar to the Obamas’ deal with Netflix.
Thomas Markle was interviewed at his home in Mexico for the Channel 5 documentary following the news earlier this month that Harry and Meghan were planning to leave their senior royal roles and split their time between North America and the U.K.
The Duchess of Sussex’s father said: “Every young girl wants to become a princess and she got that and now she’s tossing that away … it looks like she’s tossing that away for money.
“Apparently three million dollars and a 26-bedroom home isn’t enough for them. It’s kind of embarrassing to me.”
Thomas Markle added: “I miss Meghan. I miss who she was, I don’t know who she is now. That’s the problem.”
Meghan’s father made headlines in 2018 ahead of her wedding to Harry when he admitted staging paparazzi photographs for money.
Thomas Markle was expected to attend to attend the wedding and give Meghan away but ultimately missed the nuptials, claiming he was recovering from heart surgery.
In February 2019, the U.K.’s Mail on Sunday newspaper published excerpts of a letter Meghan wrote to her father in the months after her wedding, prompting the Sussexes to sue the tabloid and its publisher Associated Newspapers for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and a breach of the U.K.’s Data Protection Act.
In a legal filing with the high court in London earlier this month, the Mail on Sunday defended publishing parts of the letter, saying there is “huge and legitimate public interest” in the personal lives of the royal family.
According to the BBC, Sky News and The Guardian, the newspaper’s defense appears to rely heavily on evidence from Thomas Markle, prompting speculation he could testify against Meghan and Harry if the lawsuit reaches trial.