While Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the newest member of the British royal family, was criticized for violating protocol by crossing her legs while sitting at a Buckingham Palace awards event, her father is, once again, embarrassing the monarchy.
Thomas Markle, an expatriate who lives in Rosarito, just south of Tijuana, emerged from the shadows Tuesday to give an interview to TMZ, criticizing the royal family. His remarks to the celebrity gossip site were picked by Britain’s Mirror online news.
After recently apologizing on the “Good Morning Britain” TV show for his bad judgment in doing a staged paparazzi photo shoot for which he was paid, Markle’s dad lashed out in a TMZ interview. This time he criticized Queen Elizabeth for agreeing to meet President Donald Trump when he visits the UK next month, before meeting him.
"If the Queen is willing to meet our arrogant and insensitive president, she has no excuse not to meet me, I'm nowhere near as bad," he complained to TMZ.
Markle admitted he had not spoken to his daughter since the “Good Morning Britain” interview with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. He said he had chatted with Prince Harry on the telephone before the wedding, but has yet to meet his son-in-law in person.
His GMB interview, for which he reportedly was paid an appearance fee of more than $9,900, ruffled feathers in Kensington Palace because Markle claimed that Prince Harry, who is supposed to remain politically neutral, had made comments about Trump and Brexit. Markle also shocked royal family fans when he asked the prince to promise he would never raise a hand against his daughter.
Markle missed the opportunity to walk his daughter down the aisle when he suffered a heart incident that sent him to the hospital. After having dodged reporters and refused comment for weeks after the royal engagement was announced, Thomas Markle is clearly finding his voice and giving the tabloids fodder for fireworks.
Meanwhile, a reporter for the German tabloid Bild visited the Rosarito Beach Hotel and filmed its penthouse and other suites for an article on where the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex might stay if they come to visit her father.
Public service: A little over two years ago, veteran political strategist Larry Thomas interviewed former California Gov. Pete Wilson at a San Diego History Center dinner event honoring Wilson. Sadly, on July 1, it is the former governor and U.S. senator who will be among those talking about Thomas, his longtime political aide and friend, who died June 11 at home in Newport Beach after battling cancer.
Following his job as press secretary during two of Wilson’s terms as San Diego mayor, Thomas became the spokesperson for California Gov. George Deukmejian and, in 1987, for U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush. His memorial service, featuring representatives of these administrations, promises to be packed with political VIPs as well as colleagues from The Irvine Company, where Thomas worked in corporate communications for 20 years after stepping aside from politics.
Despite the serious nature of his work, Thomas had a healthy fun meter and quickly exchanged business suits for board shorts, T-shirts and sandals when he retired. So it’s no surprise that those coming to his memorial service at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach Sunday are urged to dress casually (Hawaiian shirts encouraged), drink good wine and have fun, says Eric Beach, who is married to Thomas’s daughter, Leigh.
In keeping with the good time theme, the 4 p.m. celebration of life will be followed by a reception featuring singer/composer Kai Kalama, an Orange County semi-finalist on “American Idol” in 2009.
“Larry was a model public servant,” recalls Ben Haddad of California Strategies and a former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Wilson. “He exemplified integrity in public service. We are in sore need of that these days. ... It was never about Larry. It was always about the public good.”
On July 1, it will be all about Larry.
An icebreaker? For those who wonder why an icebreaker was docked in San Diego, where ice is usually found in a drink, the ship was reportedly on a re-positioning layover. The 420-foot-long Healy is not only the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest vessel, it holds the distinction of being the only unaccompanied U.S. surface ship to make it all the way to the North Pole.
The red-hulled ship, which breaks up the ice to enable scientific studies, in addition to its search and rescue missions, was moored along North Harbor Drive downtown on Sunday. It left San Diego Tuesday, reportedly on its way to the Antarctic.