Meghan Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle has strongly criticized her for exhibiting “attention-getting behaviors” after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intentions to take a step back as “senior” members of the royal family.
Meghan and Prince Harry announced on Wednesday they will cut back on royal duties and split their time between the U.K. and North America to live a more private life. But Samantha Markle, appearing on Inside Edition on Thursday, argued that Meghan knew that she would be living in the public spotlight upon marrying Harry.
“That’s ridiculous. They stepped into the spotlight knowing what the duties were, knowing what the media would be like for them,” said Samantha Markle, with whom Meghan shares a father, Thomas Markle.
“If they wanted to be so private, she wouldn’t have sat at Wimbledon with 40 empty seats around her, like, ‘Look at me, look at me, look at me.’ Clearly she knows she’s engaging in attention-getting behaviors.”
Samantha Markle also accused Meghan of showing “lack of consideration” for the British royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II. She said promises “were originally made to the British royal family to honor royal duty and lead by example,” which, she claimed, Meghan and Harry have now disavowed.
Samantha Markle and her brother Thomas Markle Jr. have in the past been severely critical of Meghan, who was born to Thomas Markle during his second marriage to Doria Ragland.
However, royal sources close to Meghan have previously claimed that she has never had a relationship with her half-siblings, who were Thomas Markle’s children from his first marriage. “They were out of the house by the time she was born,” a source told People prior to Meghan and Harry’s May 2018 wedding.
The Sussexes’ announcement Wednesday that they are taking a step back from royal duties has caused shockwaves across the U.K., with speculation that the royal family, particularly the queen, were not aware the couple’s announcement of their plans was going to be made public so soon.
Meghan and Harry said: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
The couple said they will continue to partake in some royal engagements on behalf of the queen, but plan to stop accepting any public funding for their work.
A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry has been contacted for comment.