Meghan Markle's brother enters Big Brother Australia VIP house—so who is the royal's mysterious half-sibling?

Meghan Markle's brother has entered the Big Brother Australia VIP house after being spotted at Sydney airport weeks before

Meghan Markle's brother is believed to be joining Big Brother Australia after being spotted at Sydney airport on Thursday
(Image credit: PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 15: Thomas Markle Jr. attends the Rocco's Collision Presents Celebrity Boxing 68: Thomas Markle Jr v Nacho Press Conference on May 15, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images))

Meghan Markle's brother has just joined the lineup for the latest season of Big Brother Australia VIP, having landed in Sydney to quarantine before moving into the infamous house.

Meghan Markle's brother has been confirmed to be a contestant on this year's celebrity version of the Channel 7 reality show Big Brother Australia, Big Brother Australia VIP. The news comes as Meghan Markle is busy with her 40th birthday celebrations.

Thomas Jr., the older half-brother of Meghan, is notoriously estranged from his royal sibling.

The news, confirmed by the Daily Mail, comes after the American construction worker was spotted at Sydney Airport on Thursday July 22, before being transported to a hotel to begin a 14-day long self-isolation. 

Thomas Jr. will live alongside a handful of notable folks, including former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, Married At First Sight star Jessika Power, and former advisor to Donald Trump Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Notorious British reality star Katie Hopkins was initially supposed to appear in the series but she publically flouted the quarantine rules and as a result was booted from the show.

Meghan hasn't made any statement regarding her brother appearing on the show, but as the series unfolds it's definitely worth watching this space!

Who is Meghan Markle's brother?

Thomas Jr. is the son of Meghan's father, Thomas Markle. The 55-year-old resides in the outdoorsy city of Grants Pass Oregan, where he makes a modest living as a window fitter and shares a house with long-term partner Darlene Blout. He also has two grown-up sons with his ex-wife Tracy Dooley, who he divorced in 2001 after 11 years of marriage. 

MediaPunch Inc/Alamy Live News

Thomas Markle Jr. in 2019 

(Image credit: MediaPunch Inc/Alamy Live News)

Does Meghan Markle speak to her brother? 

Meghan Markle has reportedly not spoken to her half-brother, Thomas Jr., since 2011. According to the German tabloid newspaper Bild, the father-of-two believes the Suits actress to be a "changed person" since marrying Prince Harry in 2018. 

He has also previously implied Meghan wouldn't be able to deal with the strict protocol of royal life, citing her determination to do "what she wants to do" as incompatible with the "palace rules and guidelines." 

“If things aren’t going her way, she’ll just go a different route,” Thomas Jr. told Australian celebrity magazine New Idea. 

"It just probably caused a lot of problems with her life and with Harry. That’s how she is. It’s very possible that she just put her foot down and said [to Harry] I’m leaving—with or without you.”

Benjamin Wareing / Alamy Stock Photo

(Image credit: Benjamin Wareing / Alamy Stock Photo)

Did Meghan Markle's brother attend her royal wedding? 

Meghan Markle's half-brother did not go to her iconic royal wedding ceremony to Prince Harry in 2018—and not because he couldn't make the journey. Neither Thomas Jr. nor Samantha Markle, Meghan's half-sister, were invited to the prestigious event. Speaking to the Mirror, the disappointed sibling revealed he was "baffled" by the rejection in light of "how close we once were." 

“I’m confused and a little distraught because here is a person knowing the position she’s in and knowing the scrutiny she’s under and yet she has forgotten her flesh and blood," he said. 

Benjamin Wareing / Alamy Stock Photo

(Image credit: Benjamin Wareing / Alamy Stock Photo)

Did Meghan Markle's brother go to jail? 

If you were following the tabloid press back in the run-up to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, you might have come across this story. Thomas Markle Jr. was arrested in 2017 after a drunken argument in which he allegedly held a gun to his partner's head. He was charged with menacing, pointing a firearm at another person, and unlawful use of a weapon. 

He had yet another bust-up with police in 2019, after he was caught driving under the influence in his home state of Oregon. In a subsequent court appearance, he told the judge he was now sober and attending therapy for his alcohol issues. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.