PRINCESS Diana's former bodyguard has criticised Prince Harry over his dealings with Thomas Markle Sr, claiming he should have done more to protect his new wife's father.

Retired Metropolitan Police inspector Ken Wharfe - who led the security team for Harry's mum from 1987 until 1993 - told Yahoo UK that the royal should have "insisted" that Palace aides were dispatched to help Mr Markle deal with the sudden barrage of press.

"This was a case that was badly dealt with by the Palace," Mr Wharfe said.

"This relationship (Thomas and Meghan) is going to be played out their entire life … I just hope she can find a way through it."

MORE: Harry and Meghan 'won't engage' in war of words with Thomas Markle

Mr Wharfe pointed out that Prince Harry would have had a keen sense of the massive media attention that Mr Markle, 73, would be facing ahead of the royal wedding, and should have been more supportive.

"He's not an unintelligent guy. He's been through the mill himself, he knows what press intrusion is like," he said.

"He has a drawbridge and a portcullis to hide behind when they pursue him. Thomas Markle doesn't."

"Nobody's looking after him. They're going to bend his arm, there'll be the offers (of) money, there'll be the pursuing paparazzi, the invasion and the negative reporting that we've seen.

"Harry could have done something about that. He may have advised palace officials, maybe he did, but he could have insisted on that. He could well have done, but for some reason it hasn't happened."

Mr Wharfe also defended Mr Markle's recent criticisms of the royal family - which includes describing them as "cult-like" - and explained that he'd been unfairly left to fend for himself.

"I think the Palace was at fault not to earmark this problem very early on. His behaviour (is) as a result of poor advice or no advice," he added.

While Prince Harry and Mr Markle have reportedly never met in person, it's understood they've spoken on the phone a number of times. However, according to Mr Markle, their last conversation in May ended with him hanging up on his son-in-law.



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