Meghan Markle's half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., announced on Tuesday that he's engaged to his girlfriend. The Duchess of Sussex's estranged half-brother will be marrying his girlfriend of two years, Darlene Blount.
He told news outlets that he proposed to Blount, 38, at a park near their home in Grants Pass, Oregon, in early 2019. Afterward, they celebrated with a New Year’s Eve party.
The newly engaged couple have set a wedding date in March. They said that they plan to invite Meghan and Prince Harry.
“Absolutely I think our wedding will bring the family closer together,” Thomas Jr. said. “It’s hopeful that if Meghan and Harry came and my father [Thomas Markle Sr.], Meghan and Harry could spend some time with him and that would be good.”
He continued, “Starting out the new year by bringing our family closer together is definitely on the to-do list. It’s very important. [The wedding] would be a perfect time for Meg to get together with my dad — who is her father as well — and just put all the past behind everybody and move on and be a closer family again. My dad would really enjoy that. Possibly it will bring the family closer — especially if everybody shows up.”
Markle and Blount have been dating since around the time that Meghan and Harry confirmed they were together. They were introduced by a mutual friend.
The first few months of Meghan's marriage has been marked with stories about her estrangement from her family. The former actress is not speaking to anyone other than her mother Doria Ragland.
Her father, Thomas Markle, was supposed to walk her down the aisle at her wedding to Prince Harry in May. However, the 74-year-old did not attend the wedding after claiming he had heart surgery.
Since the wedding, Markle and his daughter Samantha Markle, who is Meghan's half-sister, have made headlines since the wedding for bashing the royal family. They've gone on various TV shows and done interviews in the past few months.
“Meghan is so upset over Thomas,” a source told Us Weekly in July 2018. “She would like to speak to him, but there is no trust there anymore. And it doesn’t seem like it could ever be rebuilt. The damage is done.”
There's no word on whether Meghan and Harry have spoken to the couple or if they would even consider attending the wedding. However, it seems unlikely given everything we know about Markle's relationship with her dad's side of the family.