As Meghan Markle continues to focus on her humanitarian work in the U.S., her relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, remains a point of contention. The former actress and Duchess of Sussex has been criticized for not acknowledging her father's 80th birthday, an omission that has fueled accusations of hypocrisy given her public persona.

Thomas Markle, speaking from his home in Rosarito, Mexico, expressed his disappointment in a recent interview. "I've never been one for birthdays, but I know the one person I most want to hear from, Meghan, will not be in touch," he said. "I'd love to meet my grandchildren, but I'd be happy with a photograph at this stage."

Meghan's estrangement from her father dates back to 2018, when he was unable to walk her down the aisle at her wedding to Prince Harry due to health issues. The relationship has been strained ever since, exacerbated by Thomas's involvement in a paparazzi scandal and subsequent public comments.

Hilary Fordwich, a royal commentator, highlighted the contrast between Meghan's public image and her private actions. "The hypocrisy of Meghan Markle claiming to care about people and all the tours they go on where they have empathy for people," she said on GB News. Fordwich pointed out that Meghan once described herself as a "daddy's girl" on Instagram in 2016, calling her father the "greatest in the world."

Before the scandal, Meghan often spoke fondly of her father, crediting him with supporting her early career in Hollywood. Fordwich noted, "She had a very privileged childhood, being sent to private schools in California and of course, her father was the one who set her off on her career in Hollywood. It wasn't all done by herself."

The fallout from the paparazzi scandal led to a complete breakdown in their relationship. Thomas Markle has never met his grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet, and remains perplexed by the lack of contact. "When I reflect back on my life, as you do when you are approaching 80, that’s one of the questions I cannot find an answer for. Why didn’t Harry ever come to meet me?" he wondered.

The elder Markle also expressed empathy for King Charles, who faces a similar estrangement from his grandchildren. "Neither of us deserves the treatment we’ve received," he said. "He is going through cancer treatment and I’m not in the best of health. I have so many questions I’d like to ask Meghan and Harry. The main one being, why have they treated not only me but the Royal Family and the King so badly."

Thomas Markle's comments reflect a deep sense of betrayal and sadness. He reminisced about Meghan's upbringing, emphasizing the close bond they once shared. "Meghan grew up on TV sets that I was working on. Those are the happy times I look back on. Meghan had a great childhood and I felt lucky, as a father, to spend so much time with her," he said.

The controversy surrounding Meghan's relationship with her father has been compounded by the perception that she has distanced herself from her family. Fordwich criticized the Duchess for what she sees as a pattern of abandonment. "If it’s so bad to throw your family under the royal bus, then why do it yourselves? That's what Harry's been doing and that's what Meghan Markle has been doing," she said, referring to the couple's tell-all projects.

Thomas Markle's disappointment was palpable as he reflected on his upcoming birthday. "I never felt old in my mind, but it hit me a few years ago when people started standing up and offering me their chair. When the drama started with Meghan and Harry, I was already well into my 70s and, while I did not realize it at the time, I was vulnerable," he said.

The former Hollywood lighting director's life has been marked by both professional success and personal strife. He recounted his career highlights, including working on popular TV shows like "General Hospital" and "Married... with Children." Despite his accomplishments, the estrangement from Meghan casts a shadow over his life.

As Thomas Markle approaches his 80th birthday, he finds solace in his other children, Tom Jr. and Samantha, who remain in contact with him. He plans to celebrate quietly, acknowledging the bittersweet nature of the occasion. "I don’t expect to hear from Meghan and Harry," he said. "I wish we could have worked this situation out. I was always ready and willing to do that."