Meghan Markle All Smiles in London Amid Continued Family Turmoil

As her father and half-sister make the rounds, the Duchess of Sussex visits a nursing home

By Zach Johnson Dec 18, 2018 1:00 PMTags
Meghan Markle, Brinsworth House Visit Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meghan Markle is focusing on the positive.

A day after her father, Thomas Markle, appeared via satellite on ITV's Good Morning Britain and made a public plea to end their estrangement—followed by half-sister, Samantha Markle, slamming her on Twitter all afternoon—the 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex stepped out in West London this morning looking festive in a Brock Collection dress and Soia & Kyo's Adelaida coat.

Putting on a happy face, the pregnant duchess was all smiles when she arrived at the Royal Variety Charity's residential nursing and care home at Brinsworth House. After a private briefing, Meghan met four residents in the dining room. A former actress herself, Meghan spoke to Mona Hammond, who, in the 1990s, played Blossom Jackson in the soap EastEnders.

In videos posted via Kensington Royal's social media accounts, the duchess was overheard telling everyone how "fantastic" they were as she learned more about the residents' life stories.

At one point, Meghan touched her baby bump and joked she felt "very pregnant today."

Watch: Meghan Markle Flaunts Baby Bump at Charity Outing

During the visit, Meghan also asked an elderly woman, "Do you have kids?" After the woman explained she'd chosen a "career" over motherhood, Meghan told her, "Yes, that I understand."

"The timing of the visit is fantastic as it comes a few weeks after the Royal Variety performance, which she attended with Prince Harry. And it comes after her wedding, which all the residents here were watching. We had the television on, Union Jack bunting up and a party atmosphere," the charity's chairman, Giles Cooper, told the local media. "So, it's nice to have the bride here."

See Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's New 10-Bedroom House

Tuesday's outing marked Meghan's last official engagement before Christmas.

Meghan will spend the holiday with the royal family, of course, and Thomas hopes Queen Elizabeth II will step in to stage an intervention. In his first interview in six months—for which he was not paid—Thomas conceded his daughter had "always been very controlling" and had "always been in charge," but denied fouler claims, insisting, "She's never been rude to anyone."

Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

Samantha disagreed as she defended their father on Twitter. "He did reach out privately to exhaust, but this woman thinks it's cool to ghost an entire family, best friend of 30 years, ex-husband who treated her very well, and trade everyone out for the royals and Clooneys," she tweeted, adding Meghan should behave like someone "with a good and compassionate heart."

Meghan, for her part, has never publicly commented on her family drama.

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