EXCLUSIVE: Meet the American cousins Baby Sussex may never know – as Thomas Markle is revealed to have NEVER met two of his grandchildren and be barely in touch with the others
- Meghan’s estranged father Thomas Markle Sr, 74, released a statement congratulating Harry and Meghan on the birth of his sixth grandchild
- But his first ex-wife Roslyn Markle, 73, has revealed that being estranged from his grandchildren is nothing new – he has not even met two of them
- Thomas Markle’s new grandson far younger than his other five grandchildren, all of whom are adults, the youngest 21 and the oldest 34
- Only one of the five – Tyler Dooley – has taken advantage of his royal connection, appearing on an MTV’s The Royal World after her wedding to Prince Harry
- Other cousins include an attorney in Virginia who Markle once praised on Instagram and said: ‘Always here for you.’ She was not invited to wedding
- The five are scattered across the U.S.; three are Samantha Markle’s children by her two marriages, and two are Thomas Jr.’s by his first
- Thomas Markle Sr.’s first wife Roslyn Markle told DailyMail.com: ‘He’s a deadbeat person.’
- In contrast, Prince William and Kate Middleton made clear on Tuesday that they and their children will be very much part of the life of the new royal baby
A lawyer, a marijuana farmer and an anthropology student: These are some of the new royal baby’s cousins, whom he is unlikely to ever meet – and whose grandfather Thomas Markle Sr. is a stranger to them.
DailyMail.com can reveal that – despite his statement welcoming his sixth grandchild on Monday – the Duchess of Sussex’s father has never met two of his older grandchildren, and is a virtual stranger to the others.
His ex-wife Roslyn Markle, 73, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, told DailyMail.com that his youngest granddaughter Noel Rasmussen, 21, has only met him three times and has limited phone contact.
Markle, 74, has also never met his two oldest grandchildren, Roslyn disclosed.
They are Ashleigh Hale, 34, and her brother Chris, 32, whose mother is Samantha Markle, the Duchess of Sussex’s high-profile – but estranged – half-sister.
And he has sporadic phone and email contact with his grandchildren by his Thomas Jr. ‘s – Thomas III, 27, and marijuana farmer and part-time reality star Tyler, 26,
Roslyn told DailyMail.com: ‘Yes, [Baby Sussex] is his grandchild but considering that he’s got five others that he doesn’t really have a relationship with… Two of them he’s never even seen.
‘Deadbeat’: Thomas Markle Sr., who issued a statement welcoming his new grandson, has been revealed by his first ex-wife to have no contact with his five older grandchildren
Estranged: Thomas Markle Jr. has not spoken to his daughter since last August, before the announcement of her pregnancy, and did not attend her wedding to Prince Harry after being revealed to have staged pictures for paparazzi near his Mexican home
Meet the royal cousins: Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge made clear Tuesday that the new royal baby will have his three cousins – from left Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George – very much in his life
Half-siblings: Between them Thomas Markle Sr.’s two children – Samantha Markle, AGE, and Thomas Markle Jr., AGE, have given him five grandchildren. But none are close to him, and two have not even met him.
‘He’s never met Ashleigh and Christopher [Hale], and Noel [Rasmussen] he doesn’t talk to. She hasn’t really had any connection with him apart from the few times they’ve talked on the phone.’
Of the new baby, she added: ‘It’s wonderful news. Babies are a sheer delight. I wish Meghan and Harry well and I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures like the rest of the world.’
Baby Sussex was born in the early hours of Monday morning and weighed in at 7lbs 3oz. His ‘overjoyed’ maternal grandmother Doria Ragland, 62, is with the couple in London.
And Prince Harry’s brother Prince William and sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge made clear Tuesday that they are their three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, will be very much part of Baby Sussex’s life.
At an engagement with her husband in London, the Duchess of Cambridge said: ‘As William said, we’re looking forward to meeting him and finding out what his name’s going to be so so it’s really exciting for both of them and we wish them all the best.’
By contrast, the royal baby’s grandfather Markle Sr. was 5,500 miles away in Mexico and appears unlikely to meet his new grandson.
The 74-year-old has repeatedly begged daughter Meghan, 37, to bring him back into the fold and let him meet his sixth grandchild – as have Samantha and Thomas Jr.
He and his daughter have been estranged since he missed her wedding in May 2018 amid a staged paparazzi photo scandal.
Meghan and her father have not spoken since last August, after Markle Sr. gave a string of interviews – including one in which he revealed Prince Harry’s political views.
But Meghan isn’t the only member of the family to have little to do with Markle Sr. Here are the grandchildren to whom he is a virtual stranger.
BABY’S YOUNGEST COUSIN: SOCIOLOGY STUDENT NOEL, 21, WHO SOMETIMES HEARS FROM GRANDPA
Another estrangement: Noel Rasmussen, 21, has spoken to her grandfather ‘a few times on the phone,’ Roslyn Markle tells DailyMail.com
Samantha’s youngest daughter, Noel, 21, also has limited contact with her grandfather and lives with her father movie armorer Scott Rasmussen, 56, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Noel, an anthropology student, previously told DailyMail.com of her difficult relationship with her mother and said she has met her aunt Meghan just once – in 2008 when she visited with Markle Sr. to attend Samantha’s graduation ceremony.
Speaking in another interview, she described Meghan as ‘a good person’ and said she had always looked up to her aunt.
Noel, who is very close to grandmother Roslyn, added: ‘She taught me how important it was to read books. She’s kind, genuine, thoughtful and warm.’
Roslyn says Noel has met her grandfather a handful of other times, all when he was visiting Samantha at her former home in Albuquerque, and that they very occasionally speak on the phone.
THE ATTORNEY, 34, WHO HAS NEVER MET HER GRANDFATHER – BUT WAS MEGHAN’S FRIEND
Friendship: While Ashleigh Hale may have never met her grandfather, she had a good relationship with her aunt Meghan. The then-actress posted this picture to her Instagram after they spent time together in Washington D.C. in 2016 and said ‘always here for you’; Ashleigh, an attorney, was not invited to her aunt’s wedding
Thomas Markle Sr. has never met his eldest granddaughter, Ashleigh Hale, who is now 34.
She lives in Richmond, Virginia, is a successful lawyer and studied for the bar at the Charleston School of Law and the George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C.
Since graduating, she has worked as a law clerk and contract attorney according to her Linkedin profile.
She is now portfolio data examiner group leader at Velocity Medical Receivables Solutions, near the home she shares with her 37-year-old husband Matthew Friedman, who is also a lawyer in private practice, having been a prosecutor in South Carolina where the couple met. The two have a black Labrador cross.
Although Ashleigh does not have much of a relationship with her mother Samantha Markle, she was once close to Meghan and often appeared on the former actress’ social media pages.
One Instagram photo dating from April 2016 shows the pair together in Washington DC and is accompanied by the caption: ‘Oh how I love my @ashleighkhale. Always here for you, you beautiful, special and deserving woman. #familyfirst #DC.’
But like the rest of the family, Ashleigh too was left off the guest list at the royal wedding and it’s unclear whether she will meet her new baby cousin.
THE COLLEGE BASEBALL STAR, 32, WHO DOES NOT KNOW HIS GRANDFATHER
Never spoken: Thomas Markle Sr.’s first wife Roslyn revealed that he has never even met Chris Hale, a one-time college baseball star.
Ashleigh Hale’s brother Christopher’s relationship with Meghan is equally non-existent, although the unmarried 32-year-old is as successful as his sister.
A business studies graduate, he forged an impressive baseball career while at college and studied at the University of South Carolina and Presbyterian College – a liberal arts school in Clinton, South Carolina.
According to an obituary for his lawyer uncle Matthew Hale, who died aged 59 in January 2018, he now lives in Fort Benning in Georgia.
The vast military base is home to more than 120,000 active duty soldiers, and the United States Army Infantry School.
THE PIZZA RESTAURANT MANAGER, 27, WHO SOMETIMES SPEAKS TO HIS GRANDFATHER – BUT NOT HIS FATHER
Also estranged: Thomas Dooley Markle (left) and Tyler Dooley Markle (right) are the sons of Thomas Markle Jr. and Tracy Anne Dooley (center). Neither of them have any relationship with their grandfather, Thomas Sr., and they are estranged from Thomas Jr. too
Thomas III lives in Mammoth, California, with his husband Ronnie, 41, where they run a branch of Domino’s Pizza together.
Raised in Medford, Oregon by his florist mother Tracey Dooley, he is in sporadic email and phone contact with his grandfather and has made up with his father from whom he was formerly estranged.
Unlike his brother Tyler, 26, he has rarely spoken out about his aunt Meghan and last year branded his father and aunt Samantha’s habit of speaking out constantly ‘appalling’.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said: ‘My dad and aunt are crazy. I feel terrible for Meghan. Me and my brother Tyler have nothing to do with our dad.
‘His behavior since Meghan and Harry started dating has been completely appalling. I just want people to know I have nothing to do with it and just apologize to her.’
Of Markle Sr. he said: ‘Grandpa wants nothing to do with my dad. Tyler and I have no issues with our grandpa.
‘We speak on the phone every now and then.’
THE MARIJUANA FARMER, 26, WHO CASHED IN WITH REALITY SHOW AND FREE TRIP TO MEGHAN’S WEDDING
Cash in: Tyler Dooley (center in crown) appeared on MTV’s ‘The Royal World’ in the UK. He was involved in a brawl last week and stopped from taking a knife into a nightclub in London after being flown to his aunt’s wedding by a UK television show
Tyler Dooley, 26, is the only one of the Duchess of Sussex’s cousins to attempt to cash in on his connection to royalty.
A full-time marijuana farmer in Oregon – where the drug is legal – he developed a type of weed named ‘Markle Sparkle’ to mark last year’s wedding.
The 26-year-old, who is dating Sandra Bazan, also appeared on MTV reality show The Royal World late last year.
The only American cast member on the show, the series saw remote royal relations made to live in a house together while comparing notes on their blue-blooded family members.
He has spoken out repeatedly and said on the show that Meghan’s marriage had ‘torn my family apart.’
Tyler added: ‘Seeing these vicious headlines about who I am. It’s been hard. The struggles of the past year have put me to breaking point.’
But the marriage was another business opportunity, with Tyler flying to London as the guest of UK television show Good Morning Britain, along with his mom.
They were dropped at the last minute and then the trip went badly wrong when he was caught trying to take a knife into a London nightclub.
When doormen confiscated the weapon and said they were calling the police, he fled.
And last week, police in his hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon, said he was injured in a bar fight two days before the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to his new cousin.
He was ‘shoved to the ground’ in a fist-fight at the Wonder Bur Lounge that involved ’15-20 people,’ Grants Pass Police Department told The Sun.
He was not accused of any wrongdoing in the fray, and said the police description was ‘not entirely accurate.’
‘I’m not a victim,’ Dooley said. ‘The disturbance is completely separate from me.’
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