MEGHAN Markle's family life has been under the spotlight since her relationship with her husband Prince Harry began.
The Duchess of Sussex has seen the details of her fraught relationship with her half-brother Thomas Markle Jr and the rest of her family unfold in front of the public.
Who is Thomas Markle Jr?
Thomas Markle Jr, 59, shares the same father as Suits actress Meghan, who is married to Prince Harry.
He told Bild the last time he had seen Meghan was in 2011, claiming his family believe she is now a "changed person".
When Meghan was born in 1981, Thomas Jr was living with his father, sister Samantha Grant, and stepmother Doria, Meghan’s mum.
What does Thomas Markle Jr do for a living?
He lives in Grant's Pass, Oregon, and works as a window fitter.
But in 2020, he blamed Meghan for his inability to find a job.
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In an interview with New Idea, he explained how he had lost jobs and now "can't get a new one because of the notoriety of being related to the duchess."
He told the Austrlian magazine that he was considering changing his surname to escape the Markle "curse."
"I am homeless and could have been under a bridge with a cardboard sign begging for money, but thankfully my mum has taken me in," he said.
He added that "Meghan could have helped me or got someone else at the palace to do so."
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Who is Thomas Markle Jr's partner Darlene Blount?
Darlene and Thomas were introduced by a mutual friend shortly after Meghan and Harry announced they were a couple in November 2016.
Thomas proposed with a white gold and diamond engagement ring in March 2018 after they dated for 14 months, with him getting down on one knee near in a local park.
He told the DailyMail that he will be inviting the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry to the wedding.
He said: "[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."
The lovebirds hope their nuptials will be a fresh slate from their past legal troubles.
Thomas was arrested on January 12, 2017, in Oregon for allegedly holding a gun to a woman's head during a drunken argument.
He was later charged with menacing, pointing a firearm at another person and unlawful use of a weapon.
According to court documents, he pointed the gun at girlfriend Darlene Blount in an attempt to get her to leave.
He has since apologised and said he is "seeking help".
Why was his fiancee Darlene Blount arrested?
Police in Grants Pass, Oregon, arrested Darlene Blount, on Friday, July 20, 2018, on a charge of fourth-degree assault after a "domestic violence call" at her house.
She was reportedly bailed on Saturday after a night at Josephine County Jail.
A source told MailOnline: "Last night there was a domestic violence call at the home of Thomas Markle [Jr] and Darlene Blount. Darlene was arrested on assault charges."
In January 2018, she was booked for the same charge after a boozy fight with Thomas.
Did Thomas Markle Jr attend Meghan's wedding to Prince Harry?
Thomas Jr was not invited to the wedding, which took place on May 19 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
His sister Samantha Grant also failed to get an invitation to the eagerly anticipated ceremony.
Father-of-two Thomas told The Mirror: “I’m not bitter, just baffled. It’s hurtful given how close we once were.
“I’m confused and a little distraught because here is a person knowing the position she’s in and knowing the scrutiny she’s under and yet she has forgotten her flesh and blood.”
Both Meghan’s half-siblings, Thomas Jr and Samantha, had given interviews to US mag In Touch earlier in 2018.
Thomas Jr is said to have labelled comments his half-sister allegedly made as “harsh” and “a slap in the face”, as well as publishing what he claims to be correspondence between his lawyer and Meghan’s.
In May 2018, he wrote an explosive open letter telling Meghan to call off the upcoming nuptials, blasting it as a "fake fairy tale".
However, he reportedly later backtracked on the letter, which he said was written in a "moment of madness".
Thomas Jr told The Mirror that Meghan is "the best thing to happen to the royals" and would be "the perfect modern happiness", wishing his half-sister every happiness ahead of her big day.
But in a scathing interview with Bild, he claimed his half-sister was a changed person.
He said: "Nobody recognises the Meghan we are seeing right now.
"I have seen her bully people before in the past and get her way, no matter what."
Who walked Meghan down the aisle at the royal wedding?
There was intense speculation over who would walk Meghan down the aisle, with her father, both her parents and even Prince William touted as potential candidates.
Her father Thomas Markle was set to walk her down the aisle but a saga unfolded after he admitted he was paid to pose for paparazzi pictures sold to news outlets worldwide.
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He initially pulled out, before stating his desire to attend and eventually conceded he could not attend due to heart surgery.
Instead, King Charles took the new Duchess of Sussex down the aisle.
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