On Thursday, for the first time since Thomas Markle decided he wasn’t attending his daughter’s wedding (then he was, then he wasn’t again), Meghan Markle spoke about the saga in a carefully worded statement released by Kensington Palace.
The 36-year-old former US actress thanked the public for their understanding of what has been a rather perplexing situation playing out almost entirely in the public eye.
“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding,” she wrote.
“I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.”
She continued: “I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”
The official statement came a day after Thomas, a cinematographer, told US tabloid website TMZ he was to undergo heart surgery.
While the statement offered little information that was new, it didn’t stop social media users speculating on the statement’s wording.
I always cared for my father, come on Meghan where’s the word love !
— Rhonda (@RhondaWindynook) May 17, 2018
Meghan Markle’s statement includes: “I have always cared for my father.”
Interesting choice of words! Allows for distance from him, perhaps she’s ‘guarding’ herself against future issues he might cause.
Otherwise why not “I love my father”? Quite sad really. #RoyalWedding
— Dr Pam Spurr (@DrPamSpurr) May 17, 2018
Interesting wording. She says I have always ‘cared’ for my father, not LOVED.
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) May 17, 2018
Interesting choice of words in this statement. “I have always cared for my father” -came across very aloof. This statement from Kensington Palace made me realize all Meghan Markle is giving up to be a royal. https://t.co/zwJziSX9OP
— Dawn Hay (@dawnandeva) May 17, 2018
Meghan Markle: “I’ve always cared for my father”. He’s your dad, not a house plant! #RoyalWedding
— Darren Haywood (@darren_haywood) May 17, 2018
Meghan Markle’s statement implies there is more going on. ‘I have always cared for my father’.
Think she answering something in that statement but not to the public. Nobody questioned if she cared for her dad. Not sure if Thomas Markle was invited in first place.
— Milena♿ZP (@ZMilenaP) May 17, 2018
Of course, in the context of the last week – where the relationships between members of Meghan Markle’s family appear fractured to say the least – it would be easy to overanalyse the wording of a statement that could hint to a relationship splintered by the events of the days prior.
But what speculation like that does, is ignore the very foundations, the core value, of the British royal family: restraint.
While this might be unfamiliar to the many Americans who are now invested in the royal wedding, to the Brits, this is nothing unusual.
‘I have always cared for my father’. Wonderful to see Meghan Markle is already being thoroughly British in her emotions https://t.co/zto3SGiIhK
— Lauren Franklin (@Franklinsays) May 17, 2018
Prince Harry – in releasing that groundbreaking statement in 2016 pleading for privacy and disparaging the racist and sexist undertones of coverage of Meghan Markle – may have given the world a false sense of, well, feelings in the beginning of their union. That from here on, perhaps, this is how the royal family would communicate.
But of course, he was the anomaly, not Meghan.
It’s quintessentially royal to underplay love or anger. Whatever you may think of it, they are – and have always been – firmly grounded in neutrality. Therefore Meghan Markle’s statement says far more about the constraints on and of the royal family than it does about her relationship with her father.
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