Duchess Meghan Markle has broken quite a few protocols since marrying Prince Harry last spring. Most of them have been minor, at least it seems that way to American observers. She's had trouble remembering how to properly cross her legs when sitting down. She's worn strapless dresses. She's even donned black fingernails. All are apparently a slap in the face to royal tradition.
Then, this week it was reported that Markle is interrupting the decades-old pastime of the princes' annual Christmas hunting trip. Yes, Harry is skipping the Boxing Day pheasant shoot with his older brother Prince William at Sandringham "to avoid upsetting his animal-loving wife Meghan," as the Daily Mail puts it. Markle "strongly opposes blood sports and refuses to wear fur."
Compounded with all the Royal Family drama in London, is the Markles' family drama. Her estranged relationship with her father nearly overshadowed her wedding last spring when he did not show up at the nuptials. He says that's because he did not receive an invitation nuptials. That controversy reared its head again this week when he sounded off on the royal family and told British media that he feels as if his daughter has "ghosted" him. He's reached out to her for weeks, to no avail. He has yet to meet his daughter's royal husband and he fears he'll never see his grandchild, but he's "hopeful" it will happen.
To quote "Good Morning Britain" anchor Piers Morgan, it's all very "sad" to the outside observer.
"Every day I try to text her, I just haven't received any comment back," Mr. Markle said on the morning show this week.
While the duchess is now consumed by her new life at Kensington Palace, her father insists he will be a part of it.
"There has to be a place for me," he said. "I'm her father. And I will be a grandfather to the children."
Asked if he believes the queen could be a mediator of sorts, Mr. Markle again expressed hope and said he'd be "appreciative of anything she could do."
"All families, royal or otherwise, they're the same and they should be together, certainly around the holidays."
Other unflattering media reports about the Duchess of Sussex suggest that she has a temper and her personality has led to the resignations of multiple aides. Her father defended her as someone who is "controlling" by nature, but has "always" been polite and "never" rude. He dismissed the reports as "gossip."
Back at the palace, things have reportedly reached "crisis" mode, particularly after Mr. Markle brought the Queen into it. Rumor has it the palace is having a chat with the duchess about how to properly handle the situation.
Mr. Markle said he has yet to even receive a Christmas card from his daughter.
"I'd appreciate a card or a phone call," he said. "Some sign she knows I'm here."