How Meghan Markle’s father is recovering from stroke

Meghan Markle’s father told a friend that “there’s nothing I’m afraid of” after surviving a stroke last year.

The Duchess of Sussex became estranged from Thomas Markle in May 2018 after he was caught staging paparazzi pictures for money days before her and Prince Harry’s wedding that same month. Her father missed the Windsor Castle ceremony after being admitted to the hospital with heart problems and the pair have not spoken since.

The family announced in May 2022 that Thomas was taken to the hospital after a stroke that damaged the speech production part of his brain, interfering with his ability to talk.

Karl Larsen, a photographer who set up a YouTube channel, “Remarkable Friendship,” with the 79-year-old, told Newsweek that Thomas’ health has improved in the months since the stroke.

Meghan Markle and Father Thomas
L-R: Meghan Markle at her wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018, days after she cut off contact with her father. Thomas Markle, pictured filming for his YouTube channel, has been recovering from a stroke since May 2022.
CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images and YouTube

“I invited [Thomas] to come stay at my house during the hurricane we had here [in California]. But he said he’s gonna ride it out,” Larsen said. “He said, ‘After a stroke, there’s nothing I’m afraid of.’ That’s literally what he said to me. He did get his voice back but he doesn’t want to be part of the limelight right now.”

Newsweek reached out to Thomas Markle via email for comment.

Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, told GB News in May 2022 after their father’s stroke: “I don’t think he saw it coming, I’m just so thankful to God that I called him when I did because he was slurring his speech, he couldn’t talk and I feel like If we hadn’t got emergency care right away it could’ve been fatal.

“I feel really blessed that he is getting some of his strength back and it’s going to take several, maybe six months, maybe a year to get his speech back,” she said. “He can work with a speech therapist, the stroke he had in the speech production part.”

Thomas Markle was a prolific critic of Harry and Meghan before the stroke and at one point, pledged to give an interview every month until his daughter agreed to let him back into her life.

“I’ve apologized about this thing, what happened, at least 100 times,” he told Good Morning Britain in March 2021. “Bottom line is I’ve never heard back from Meghan or Harry in any way shape or form. When they say that I’m taking advantage of the press, well, basically what I do, because I haven’t heard from them, is I’ll do a story for the press.

“If I don’t hear from them in 30 days then I’ll do another story for the press. And I’ve yet to hear from them. I would love to hear from them,” he said. “When they decide to talk to me, I’ll stop talking to the press.”

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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