In a year that’s already been marred by one PR disaster after another, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has come under fire from yet another disgruntled family member.
In the latest chapter in Meghan's well-documented estrangement from the Markle side of her family, her uncle, Mike Markle, has launched a scathing attack on his niece.
Speaking to Woman magazine from his home in a Florida caravan park, Mike branded his niece a prima donna and claimed that the “chip on her shoulder” could be the reason for her rumoured feud with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
The 80-year-old former diplomat said he’ used his connections to secure his niece a prestigious internship as a junior press officer in the American embassy in Argentina back when Meghan (then 20) was considering a career in international relations.
“I’ve probably done more for her than most,” he said. “I personally talked to the ambassador in Argentina for her. I helped her out and I didn’t ask for anything in return.”
But now he fears the mother of one has turned her back on her American family altogether.
“Meghan has climbed socially and left us behind – that’s how I feel,” says Mike, the elder brother of Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle (75).
“I don't understand her, the way she's treated her family. I'm not very fond of it. I doubt I'll hear from her again . . . even though I would like to.”
“I think that’s what happens when you’re “underclass” and trying to rise above the reality of your situation.”
He also weighed in on ongoing rumours that the duchess is difficult to work with.
Palace sources had previously cited this as the reason several of her aides had left in quick succession.
“It could be that she’s bossy towards staff because she’s been spoilt by my brother,” Mike says.
“He doted on her a lot – more than he did his other children. Tom spent more time with her and helped her in school and stuff like that. Tom has more of a rapport with her than with the rest of the kids. That’s a problem.”
“She’s a prima donna because he treated her really well.”
Mike also shed light on the alleged rivalry between the 38-year-old and her sister-in-law Kate.
“Coming from her background, she may have a chip on her shoulder,’ he says of his estranged niece.
“It could be that that’s part of the problem she’s having with her sister-in-law. Meghan is immature in some ways. I feel that because of the way she acts – not only towards family members, but other people.”
Mike’s harsh words come just as a royal source insists Meghan is keenly aware she's being "pitted against" Kate, the future Queen consort.
Both Meghan and Kate have found the situation with each other "challenging", the source told People magazine.
Meghan and Harry (35), who share six-month-old Archie, recently opened up for a documentary about their struggle with being in the spotlight.
The documentary received mixed reviews from people, with many sympathising with the royals and equally as many criticising them.