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Meghan Markle's father says royals 'owe' him and he should be 'rewarded'

Thomas Markle had harsh words for daughter Meghan, saying she is "tossing it away for money" by deciding to step back from her royal duties.
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/ Source: TODAY

Another Thomas Markle interview, another criticism of his famous daughter.

The estranged father of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, had harsh words for her decision to step back from her royal duties with husband Prince Harry, calling it "ridiculous" and saying she's throwing away the royal life "for money."

Markle, 75, did an interview with Britain's Channel 5 in which he also said that Harry and Meghan "owe" him and that their decision to separate from the British royal family has tarnished the crown.

"She actually got every girl's dream,'' Markle said. "Every young girl wanted to become a princess, and she got that, and now she's tossing that away for — it looks like she's tossing it away for money. ... Apparently $3 million and a 26-bedroom home isn't enough for them."

Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, spoke out in a new documentary, criticizing his daughter for deciding to step back from royal duties.
Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, spoke out in a new documentary, criticizing his daughter for deciding to step back from royal duties.Alaska TV/ Getty Images

Channel 5 told NBC News that Markle was paid to participate in "Thomas Markle: My Story."

"We mention within the program that he has been paid as part of the editorial and have been transparent about this,'' the channel said in a statement. "We never reveal how much we pay contributors."

As Harry and Meghan try to avoid the cameras as they start their new life in Canada, Thomas Markle was unsparing in his criticism.

"They're turning into a Walmart with a crown on it now,'' he said. "It's something that's ridiculous. They shouldn't be doing this."

Markle, who did not attend his daughter's wedding in 2018, also opened up about the staged paparazzi photos that got him in hot water with Meghan and contributed to his absence at the wedding. He was asked if he is still making money off the photos.

"Absolutely,'' he said. "Those pictures will sell forever."

He also had a heart attack ahead of the wedding, announcing after the controversy with the photos that he was recovering from heart surgery in California and couldn't walk his daughter down the aisle.

"They owe me," Markle said in the documentary. "The royals owe me, Harry owes me, Meghan owes me. What I've been through I should be rewarded for.

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"My daughter told me when I reach my senior years, she'll take care of me. I'm in my senior years now. I'm 75 years old, so it's time to look after daddy."

The Channel 5 interview is the latest salvo in an ongoing back-and-forth between Markle and his daughter. Markle has lamented in previous interviews that his relationship with her is broken while also defiantly saying that he "won't be silenced."

Meghan filed a lawsuit in October against London's Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, accusing the tabloid of unlawfully publishing an emotional letter from herto her father.

Court papers filed by the Mail on Sunday indicate the company may call Markle as a key witness in their defense.

He has admitted that his relationship with Meghan and Harry is most likely irreparably broken.

"The last time they might see me is being lowered into the ground,'' he said. "I don't think at this point they're thrilled to see me or want to talk to me."

Meanwhile, Harry's father, Prince Charles, had no comment on his son and daughter-in-law's decision to step back from the royal family while giving a speech on climate change in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. He did not address any of the issues facing the royal family, instead greeting teen climate activist Greta Thunberg before leaving.