As Prince William‘s roguish, down-to-earth younger brother, Prince Harry has long been the favorite among fans of the royal family. And ever since he wed Meghan Markle, his popularity has surged, no doubt thanks to the incredibly romantic way he acts around his new bride. This is, after all, a man who whisked the object of his affection to Botswana just weeks after they first met, and who proposed to her over roast chicken dinner. And Meghan herself has frequently gushed about him, proudly telling fans that he’s a feminist and that he’s the “best husband ever.”
But Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, continues to cast a shadow over what would otherwise be a fairytale romance. It’s bad enough he caused a media sensation by cooperating with a photographer to create staged photos of him reading up on royal life, he then also failed to show up to the wedding or walk his daughter down the aisle (the official story is that his absence was due to health issues, but no one really buys that). Then, just last Monday, Markle sat down with Good Morning Britain for a 30-minute, tell-all interview, for which he was reportedly given a great deal of money. Royal insiders say that Meghan is “devastated” over his decision to give the interview and some of the cringeworthy comments he made.
One of the more surprising remarks was his revelation that when Harry asked for Meghan’s hand in marriage over the phone in December, Markle gave his permission once he promised he “will never raise [a] hand against my daughter.” But the biggest bomb was when he implied that Prince Harry was a Trump supporter. As a member of the royal family, Prince Harry is not allowed to openly discuss his political leanings, so the comments came across as real insider access into his political views.
“We’ve had interesting conversations on the phone,” Markle said. “He’s a smart guy. His politics are a little odd. We talked a few times about Donald Trump and Brexit and things like that.”
GMB host Piers Morgan then asked what his first words were to Markle, and he replied that after the initial introductions were out of the way, “it became a conversation mostly about politics.”
“He was asking me how I was feeling that day, and I was telling him how unhappy I was with the president, with the idea of Trump.”
Later, Morgan said that “One of the more amusing revelations from you this morning was [that] in your very first conversation with Harry, you had an argument about Donald Trump, because you were in a terrible mood about something Trump had done and Harry was trying to placate you.”
“I always have a bad attitude about Donald Trump and that’s never gonna change,” Markle replied. “I mean, my God, I have to apologize to the rest of the world for my president. But all that Harry actually did was, because Trump was new, he said ‘Give him a chance.’ I think Harry’s probably changed his mind by now. At least I hope he has.”
When asked if he thought Harry was a Trump supporter, he said, “I would hope not now, but at the time he might have been.”
In the context of the conversation, it seems obvious that Harry was merely trying to be polite and diplomatic, as a prince should be. Not to mention, in the early days of Trump’s presidency, even his greatest dissenters hoped for the best, so all of the headlines reading, “Harry Tells Meghan’s Father to ‘Give Trump a Chance” and thereby painting him as a closeted supporter of the president seem somewhat unfair. Markle also spoke very highly of both his daughter and his new son-in-law, saying Harry was a “gentleman,” a “very nice man,” and “very likable,” so he certainly doesn’t give the impression that he came away from their phone call thinking he was an ardent fan of Trump.
Meghan Markle has also previously vocally expressed her disapproval of Trump, calling him a misogynist and saying he “has made it easy to see that you don’t really want that kind of world that he’s painting.” It seems likely that the lovebirds would agree on that point. Harry has also been friendly with Obama in the past, interviewing him in 2017 and teaming up with him at the Invictus Games. He has not, as far as we know, met President Trump in person.
Prince Harry also didn’t make any new friends with his comments on Brexit. The impending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has been a source of great division since the 2016 referendum. When Morgan asked what Harry said to Markle about Brexit, Markle replied that “he said he was open to it. He didn’t know one way or the other. He was just saying he had to be open to it and see how it went.” Speaking about Brexit, he also said that Harry was “was open to the experiment.”
Again, that’s a fairly diplomatic response, but the comments did not go down well on British Twitter.
— Richard Stewart (@Richard_GJS) June 19, 2018
The overwhelming response on both sides of the pond on social media, however, are currently that Markle is a somewhat unreliable narrator, especially given the staged photo scandal.
— Nelloluvt (@nello1418) June 18, 2018
As of now, Kensington Palace has refused to comment on the interview. So the jury is still out.
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