Meghan's father Thomas Markle suffers stroke days before Queen's Platinum Jubilee

24 May 2022, 20:32 | Updated: 24 May 2022, 20:43

Thomas Markle (left) the estranged father of The Duchess of Sussex has suffered a stroke.
Thomas Markle (left) the estranged father of The Duchess of Sussex has suffered a stroke. Picture: Channel 5/Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Meghan Markle's estranged father Thomas Markle has suffered a major stroke just days before he was set to travel to the UK for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

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The 77-year-old, who has not yet met his grandchildren Archie and Lilibet, was rushed to hospital on Tuesday morning.

Karl Larsen, who has a YouTube channel with Mr Markle, confirmed the news on Tuesday evening.

He said the retired director of photography had been looking forward to travelling to the UK for the jubilee, and had hoped to meet members of the Royal Family for the first time.

The news, first reported in MailOnline by Dan Wootton, comes after Mr Markle spoke last month of his desire to travel to the UK for the celebration, which marks the Queen's 70th year on the throne.

Mr Wootton has claimed the 77-year-old has lost his speech as a result of the stroke. He is currently receiving urgent medical treatment in an American hospital.

Mr Markle did not attend Harry and Meghan's wedding in 2018 as he was recovering from heart surgery.

The Duchess of Sussex has been estranged from her father since he was caught staging paparazzi photographs ahead of her wedding.

Read more: Smiling Queen arrives at Chelsea Flower Show in buggy amid ongoing mobility issues

Read more: Meghan Markle's father dismisses suggestion that Royals or British people are racist

He has previously said he hoped to face the duke and duchess in court as part of a defamation case being brought by the duchess's half-sister.

He previously told GB News he was "looking forward" to his trip to the UK.

Speaking from his home in Rosarito, Mexico, Mr Markle said: "I'm going to show my respect for the Queen and I'm going to make sure that the Queen understands that my entire family respects the Queen and the royals.

"We admire them and we want them to know that's how we feel about them and that's how we feel about England."

Mr Markle added that he felt he had a right to meet his grandchildren.

Mr Markle has clashed with his daughter in the press on numerous occasions since he missed the Duchesses wedding.

Last year, he spoke out about his daughter's suggestion that the Royal Family or British people are racist, following the Duchesses Oprah interview.

Responding to a claim made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that there was "concern" by one royal over the colour of their son Archie's skin before he was born, Mr Markle said he "doesn't think the Royal Family are racist at all".

"I have great respect for the royals and I don't think the British Royal Family are racist at all," he said.

"I don't think the British are racist."

He said he hoped when someone allegedly asked about how dark Harry and Meghan's baby's skin tone might be that it was "just a dumb question" rather than an act of racism.