Thomas Markle speaks out following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from royal family

Thomas Markle has his thoughts on daughter Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to "step back" as senior members of the royal family.

Since before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding in May 2018, Meghan has been estranged from her father after he allegedly staged paparazzi photos of himself.

"I'll just simply say I’m disappointed," the retired lighting director told US Weekly in a statement on Wednesday. 

Thomas has been on the outs with his daughter for almost two years, after several negative and very public interviews in which he bashed the royal family and Harry. However, he later told outlets that he didn't want to say anything negative about his daughter and her husband. Thomas also told The Mail on Sunday in October 2018 that he didn't want people to "feel bad" for him when Meghan didn't tell him she was pregnant. He has yet to meet his grandson, Archie. 

In February of 2019, a close friend of the Duchess told ET that Meghan had tried to contact her dad on several occasions via phone calls and texts but said he never answered them.

"She absolutely loves her father but feels betrayed," the friend said, referring to all the interviews Thomas has conducted with the press.

Meanwhile, Meghan and Harry made a historic move by becoming the first members to take a "step back" from the royal family. The Sussexes added that they will "work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen." The couple, along with their 8-month-old son, Archie, will be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America while continuing to honor their duties to Queen Elizabeth II and their royal patronages. 

However, in a statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, royal communications called the decision "complicated."

"Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," the statement issued by Deputy Communications Secretary to The Queen, Hannah Howard, reads. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 7: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House in London, United Kingdom on January 7, 2020 and are greeted by Janice Charette. Duke and Duchess of Sussex will meet Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada to the UK and the staff and thank them for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving for their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 7: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House in London, United Kingdom on January 7, 2020 and are greeted by Janice Charette. Duke and Duchess of Sussex will meet Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada to the UK and the staff and thank them for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 7: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House in London, United Kingdom on January 7, 2020 and are greeted by Janice Charette. Duke and Duchess of Sussex will meet Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada to the UK and the staff and thank them for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving for their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives at Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving for their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Sussex arriving for the visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving for their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives at Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Sussex arriving for her visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex reacts as they leave after her visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London on January 7, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react as they are show a special exhibition of art by Indigenous Canadian artist, Skawennati, in the Canada Gallery during their visit to Canada House, in London on January 7, 2020, to give thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex smile during their visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gestures during her visit with Prince Harry to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving after their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 7: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave Canada House in London, United Kingdom on January 7, 2020. Duke and Duchess of Sussex met Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada to the UK and the staff and thanked them for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving after their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visit Canada House to meet with HE. Ms. Janice Charette, High Commissioner in Canada to the UK as well as staff to thank them for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada at Canada House on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visit Canada House to meet with HE. Ms. Janice Charette, High Commissioner in Canada to the UK as well as staff to thank them for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada at Canada House on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
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