They have been together just a few short months and, so far, Prince Harry's girlfriend Meghan Markle has shown herself to be the model of grace, elegance and cast-iron discretion. Sadly, the same cannot be said of her extended family.

Indeed, the House of Markle is a disputatious, motley collection of individuals who, between them, have a long record of boozing, bust-ups and bankruptcies, the Daily Mail reported.

Only last weekend it emerged that her half-brother, Thomas Junior, had spent the night in police cells in Oregon after being arrested for allegedly holding a gun to his girlfriend's head.

He was twice the legal alcohol limit for driving and faces up to five years in jail if convicted.


So who's who in the family? And will any of them be invited to that Royal Wedding which is being so confidently predicted for our head-over-heels Prince Harry? Here, we unearth the roots of a fascinating family tree ...


Meghan is 72-year-old Thomas Wayne Markle's only child from his second marriage, to Doria Ragland, which ended when their daughter was six years old. He was previously married to Roslyn Markle, with whom he has two older children, Thomas Markle Junior, 50, and Samantha, 52.

He is retired and lives in a modest apartment in a downmarket area of Los Angeles.

One thing that's certain about the Prince's prospective future father-in-law is that he is absolutely hopeless with money - something Harry might want to bear in mind in years to come.

Me and my dad #throwbackthursday

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

At his peak, Thomas Markle was a successful lighting director in Hollywood, working on the hit U.S. TV sitcom Married... With Children and drama series General Hospital.

He earned enough to send his daughter to private school.

However, following his divorce from Meghan's mother Doria, a certain amount of financial chaos reigned.

He has been the subject of four tax liens over the past 19 years - a lien being a legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a debt - which suggests a haphazard approach to tax returns and general paperwork. He has been hit with demands ranging from £1,853 to £43,527.

He filed for bankruptcy in June last year with credit card debts of £24,181 and just £160 in savings, and was barely surviving on a meagre pension and state handouts.

You might think this a perplexing state of affairs, given his daughter's successful television career and gilded social life - but he and Meghan are said to be very close and she often talks lovingly about her father.


Thomas Markle Junior, Meghan's half-brother from her father's first marriage.
Thomas Markle Junior, Meghan's half-brother from her father's first marriage.

Probably the black sheep is Thomas Markle Junior, Meghan's half-brother from her father's first marriage. Now 50, he has been bankrupt once and divorced twice, and is facing trial on gun charges.

He lives in the city of Grants Pass in Oregon and has worked as a cameraman, labourer, handyman and glass fitter.

He has given interviews about Meghan and 'shared' pictures of her as a baby.

In one interview in January, he claimed that Prince Harry had met Meghan's father Thomas, which prompted an unsavoury spate of mud-slinging with his older sister, Samantha.

She claimed her brother was talking nonsense, saying no such meeting had taken place, adding: 'Meghan does not speak to my brother: she can't stand him so he has no business talking. My father hates him, too, and will not talk with him.'

Thomas has two sons - Meghan's half-nephews Tyler, 27, and Thomas Markle III, with his ex-wife, florist Tracy Dooley, whom he divorced in 2001. His second marriage, to Iohannes Rawha, ended in 2009.

Whatever his relationship with his father, Thomas Jr seems to have inherited his lack of financial sense: he, too, filed for bankruptcy in 2013, citing debts of £71,868 and just £8 in his wallet.

Thomas Jr was taken into custody late on Thursday last week after a row with his girlfriend, Darlene Blount.

He was charged with unlawful use of a dangerous weapon and menacing domestic violence, for which he could be jailed for a maximum of five years.

Ex-wife Tracy, 51, said she paid his £1,221 bail bond and son Tyler issued a statement on his father's behalf, saying: 'I am incredibly sorry for my actions and I'm especially sorry to everyone affected by my drinking. I am seeking help and I promise I will be the best person I can be going forward. Thank you for understanding.'

However, Thomas Jr then claimed the words were not his, that he hadn't asked his ex-wife for money and hadn't spoken to his son 'in weeks'. No wonder Meghan is said to keep this side of her family at arm's length.

Britain's Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie arrive to attend a Christmas day church service in Sandringham, England. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie arrive to attend a Christmas day church service in Sandringham, England. Photo / AP


Samantha Markle, 52, is Meghan's half-sister from her father's first marriage, and Thomas Markle Jr's full sister. A one-time actress and model, she has MS and is confined to a wheelchair, and makes ends meet selling jewellery while trying to raise money to fund the feature films she writes.

A twice-divorced mother-of-three, she has gone by various names over the years, including Yvonne Marie Grant, Samantha Grant, Samantha Grant Markle, Samantha Rasmussen and Yvonne Markle-Hale. She has also upheld the family tradition of going bankrupt: she and her second ex-husband, Scott Rasmussen, jointly filed for bankruptcy in 2003 with a long list of creditors.

A bit of a blabbermouth, she is by far the least discreet of the Markles. She also seems to change her tune on Meghan as often as her name.

Initially, she dismissed her famous half-sister as a social climber, adding menacingly that 'once the Royal Family found out how she had treated her own family, Harry wouldn't want to continue a romance'.

Then came a volte-face as she claimed she had been misquoted, gushing: 'I love Meghan and would never say these things.'

But she could not deny earlier posts on Twitter, in which she took a vicious swipe at Meghan, writing: 'Disability should not be an embarrassment to my sister. She has hidden that I'm in a wheelchair. That is not right.'

She quickly tried to explain these away, too, saying: 'Meghan is lovely but, as everyone knows, families sometimes have disagreements.'

Before Christmas, she enthused about Meghan again in a TV interview in which she described her as having 'the eloquence of [former U.S. Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice and the grace of Princess Diana'.

'She's not wild, she's not garish, she's not a partier. She's just very beautiful and conservative, very real, very giving. She's just a peaceful person,' she said.

For all her intimate insights into her half-sister's character, her ex-husband, Scott Rasmussen, says she and Meghan haven't spoken for nearly nine years.

He also disputed Samantha's assertion in an interview that she had raised Meghan until she was 12.

'They are not close at all,' he said. 'Even when she was married to me, [Samantha] was always complaining about her sister.

'She would say, "Oh, Dad is helping her in her career. Why isn't he helping me?" And I'd be thinking, well, because you have a bad attitude.'

Samantha rubbished his remarks on Twitter: 'Divorced him in 2003. He doesn't know me or my family.'

Samantha has been criticised for giving media interviews, with one tweet reading: 'You're bitter she's successful in life while you're sitting there refreshing Twitter' - to which she retorted cryptically: 'You cannot see what the soup is made of if you don't stir the pot.'

She has suggested that her family would make great subjects for a 'cheesy reality TV show'.

Let's hope she was joking.

Hanging with Little Miss Mulroney and her mama @jessicamulroney #ladiesdate #girltime

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on


Doria Ragland, 60, has worked for the past year as an 'older adults therapist' at the Didi Hirsch charity in Los Angeles and seems to be the shining light who has kept Meghan on the right track in life.

She lives in a modest LA home which she inherited after her father Alvin died in 2011.

Meghan is her only daughter. She has never spoken about the royal romance, except to tell reporters: 'Look, I can't really say anything.'

She has also kept details of her past admirably private. What we do know is that she met Thomas Markle while working as a temp at ABC television in about 1980. It is not known how long they were together before she gave birth to Meghan in August 1981.

The couple stayed together until Meghan was six years old but divorced in 1987 on grounds of irreconcilable differences. After that, Meghan lived with her mum but her dad saw her regularly.

In 1999, Meghan moved out to attend university in Illinois, where she studied theatre and international relations. For a period after that, Doria struggled financially.

In 2002, as Meghan was starting her acting career, Doria filed for bankruptcy, saying she had no property of her own and reported heavy credit card debts of £42,900.

Her own total assets were declared at just £7,677, and she said she was working as a self-employed saleswoman for a business called Distant Treasures, with a monthly income of £1,341.

Her bank accounts were said to have only £813 in them.

This state of affairs, according to the filing, was nothing new. Her income for 2001 was said to be £10,357 and for 2000, £9,542.

While recovering from the bankruptcy, she had a landlord dispute in 2003. She had moved into a two-bedroom apartment with a friend - an exchange student - and her landlords attempted unsuccessfully to evict her.

But despite these hard times, Doria has worked continuously for at least the past six years. She has reinvented herself in the fields of social work and yoga therapy.

From 2008 to 2010, she worked at a day centre with adults who had memory loss, and has latterly been an older adult social service advocate and 'yoga brain therapist'. She and Meghan are said to remain extremely close.


Roslyn Markle, 71, was Thomas Markle's first wife and they had two children together, Thomas Jr and Samantha.

She now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is estranged from her daughter and in 2015 relations between the pair became so bad that Samantha took out a restraining order against her mother, though it was dismissed a week later.

They are still at war. Roslyn Markle claimed Samantha was out to get attention and money on the back of the royal romance. She said: 'She thought she was just going to be able to discredit Meghan and Prince Harry was going to say, "Oh well, ta ta with you".

'But when she found out they were still dating and the relationship might be going somewhere, she wanted to get into the limelight. She wants back in Meghan's good graces because of the attention.

'Now she's sucking up to her. She just wants money. She has always demanded money from Meghan. I just don't want Meghan hurt.

'Meghan is very pretty, very nice, very polished and very classy. I never hear anything but good about her from my son, Thomas.

'But Samantha has been dogging her for the last 20 years. Everything she has said about her is a lie.'

Samantha came straight back at her mother with a particularly vicious tweet: 'My father divorced Roslyn when I was ten.

'Roslyn has always been estranged and I was raised by my grandmothers and my father.'

She added: 'All those people in Albuquerque don't know Meghan, nor do they know me.

'I was raised by my father from age 11. I'm a mental health counsellor and educated. I moved to southern California with my father.'