• Meghan Markle's father was rushed to a hospital this week after suffering a stroke
  • A royal commentator suggested that this is an opportunity for Meghan and Prince Harry to work on their relationship with her father
  • Meghan has been estranged from her father since he was caught staging paparazzi photos ahead of her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry

The recent health scare of Meghan Markle's dad, Thomas Markle, could give the father and daughter a chance to reconcile, a royal commentator has suggested.

The retired television lighting director, 77, was rushed to the hospital Monday night after suffering a stroke.

Meghan has been estranged from her father since he was caught staging paparazzi photographs ahead of her royal wedding to Prince Harry in 2018.

Asked if Thomas' hospitalization could pave the way for the reconciliation between him and his daughter, Rafe Heydel-Mankoo told GB News that he thinks it's the best time for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to work on their relationship with her father.

"I would think that this is a golden opportunity for Harry and Meghan to actually try to improve their PR in [the U.K.] and also just be natural human beings and reach out to one's father," the London-based writer, historian and public policy consultant said.

The award-winning commentator noted that Meghan "doted on her father in her early years," crediting him with "bringing her up."

"It would just be a great shame if this opportunity went amiss," Heydel-Mankoo added.

The royal commentator claimed that the duchess' father has been "very much team Queen rather than team Meghan" since the couple stepped back from their roles as working royals and moved to California in 2020.

Heydel-Mankoo suggested that it would be a good PR move for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to contact her father and make amends, and he is hopeful that it will "go a long way in healing the negativity" toward the couple in Prince Harry's home country.

He pointed to a recent poll that showed that 65% of British citizens would welcome Thomas into the U.K. with "open arms," but the figure was lower when it came to Meghan.

International Business Times could not independently verify the claims.

Meghan's half-sister Samantha Markle confirmed in a statement obtained by Daily Mail Tuesday that their father suffered a major stroke and was now recovering in the hospital.

"We ask for privacy for the family, for his health and wellbeing. He just needs peace and rest. Godspeed. We are praying. He just needs some rest," the 57-year-old author said.

Samantha also seemingly blamed the rift between her estranged half-sister and their father for Thomas' waning health.

"It's a travesty how much he's been tortured and how much he's had to go through thanks to my sister's disregard the past few years," she added. "That is unforgivable."

In March 2021, Thomas claimed that the last time he spoke to Prince Harry was when he was "laying in a hospital bed after having a heart attack" in 2018.

At the time, Thomas canceled his attendance at Meghan and Prince Harry's royal wedding as he was recovering from surgery.

During her and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Meghan addressed her father's paparazzi scandal, claiming that he "wasn't able" to tell her the truth about it when she confronted him.

"That, for me, has really resonated, especially now as a mother," the duchess told Winfrey. "And also me saying just full stop, 'If we use this to protect you, we won’t be able to protect our own children one day, well, I’m talking about your grandchildren. … I look at Archie, I think about this child and … I genuinely can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can't imagine it. So it's hard for me to reconcile that."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 17: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the athletics event during the Invictus Games at Zuiderpark on April 17, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands. Karwai Tang/WireImage