Thomas Markle Petitioning Court to See Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Kids

Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, has yet to meet his estranged grandchildren, Meghan and Prince Harry's children — something he says he wants to change. Thomas Markle, 77, told Fox News that he "will be petitioning the California courts for the rights to see my grandchildren in the very near future."

He went on to weigh in on Meghan and Harry's decision to distance themselves from the royal family, saying that he hopes Queen Elizabeth II doesn't "punish" 2-year-old Archie and 1-month-old Lili for their parents' "bad behavior." Thomas Markle said, "Archie and Lili are small children. They're not politics. They're not pawns. They're not part of the game. And they're also royal and entitled to the same rights as any other royal."

Meghan and Harry's exit from the royal family began in January 2020 when they announced they were going to step back as senior royals, and was made permanent earlier this year. Following their move from England to California, the couple sat down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. In it, Meghan opened up about her relationship with her father.

"I grieve a lot. I mean, I've lost my father. I lost a baby," the Suits alum said, referring to her past miscarriage. "I nearly lost my name. I mean, there's the loss of identity. But I'm still standing, and my hope for people in the takeaway from this is to know that there's another side."

She even addressed Thomas Markle's missing her and Harry's wedding in 2018 after he was caught staging paparazzi photos. "There was such an obsession about anything in my world, including tracking down my parents. And I did everything I could to protect both of them in that media frenzy," she said. "But for over a year, the U.K. tabloids were trying to find my dad, offering people so much money to try to find his address. Once they did, I remember being told, there was a huge headline, like, 'We found him!' or 'We've got him!'"

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When Winfrey asked if she felt a sense of betrayal over the situation, she said she was more update that he lied when she and Harry confronted him themselves. "We called my dad, and I asked him, and he said, 'No, absolutely not.' I said, you know, the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we're not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our kids one day. I said, 'We won't be able to protect our own kids one day.' I said, 'I just need you to tell me. If you tell me the truth, we can help,'" she explained. "And he wasn't able to do that. And that for me has really resonated, especially now as a mother."