A newly unearthed photo of Meghan Markle’s reclusive uncle Frederick Markle shows the self-proclaimed Catholic ‘bishop’ dressed in religious garb for the first time.
The extravagant gold-hued regalia would give even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who wed Frederick’s niece to Prince Harry in May, a run for his money in the splendor stakes.
DailyMail.com has exclusively obtained the photo a year after we revealed that Meghan’s mysterious Uncle Fred prefers to go by Bishop Dismas F. Markle, and is the head of a rundown Catholic church with no parishioners in the outskirts of Sanford, Florida.
We can also reveal that he is increasingly living more like a pauper than a priest, in huge contrast to his royal niece.
This photo obtained by DailyMail.com shows Meghan Markle’s reclusive uncle and self-proclaimed ‘bishop,’ Frederick Markle in gold religious garb. The photo is believed to have been taken in the 1980s when his Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church had at least 40 members
Frederick Markle, 76, who prefers to go by Bishop Dismas F. Markle, was photographed near his Sanford, Florida home picking up some food. Above he is pictured holding a 7-11 Big Gulp and fast food
Source said Meghan hasn’t seen her uncle since she was 6. Bishop Markle rarely mentions his niece’s name, let alone the fact that she’s married into royalty – and was recently baptized into the Church of England in order to wed her Prince
The photo is believed to have been taken in the early 1980s when his Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church had at least 40 members.
Fred’s grand white and gold robes and spectacular hat perched atop his head give the impression that he’s almost as regal as the newly minted Duchess of Sussex.
But as Meghan and her new husband were reportedly gifted the stately Adelaide Lodge at Windsor by the Queen, adding to their impressive property portfolio that also includes Nottingham Cottage at Kensington plus a holiday home in the Cotswolds, Bishop Markle was photographed visiting his squalid home in Sanford, Florida.
The longtime family abode is surrounded by trash, including broken bottles, discarded paintings, and eerie broken toys.
While Bishop Markle’s adult son Nicholas lives at the address, it’s believed Meghan’s uncle camps at his lonely, rundown church about 30 minutes outside the city.
Formerly called Our Lady Queen of the Peace Catholic church, Bishop Markle has proclaimed it an outpost of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church – even though it is completely closed to the public and hasn’t seen a single parishioner since the 1980s.
The 76-year-old is known by neighbors as a hermit who only leaves the grounds of his church to visit Nicholas and get fast food.
Markle lives a reclusive lifestyle in Sanford. He was seen visiting his family home surrounded by trash, including broken bottles, discarded paintings, and eerie broken toys
While Bishop Markle’s adult son Nicholas lives at the address, it’s believed Frederick camps at his lonely, rundown church about 30 minutes outside the city
Even Fred and Thomas’s other brother, Michael Markle, said the bishop has ‘always’ been ‘a hoarder’
Brothers: Bishop Dismas (right), is older the older brother of Thomas Markle (left) but both seem to share a love of fast food
He is estranged from his wife, Theresa, and their other adult son David, who lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and children.
According to friends, Bishop Markle rarely mentions his niece’s name, let alone the fact that she’s married into royalty – and was recently baptized into the Church of England in order to wed her Prince.
One confidante, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says Fred last saw Meghan – daughter of his brother Thomas Markle and his ex-wife Doria Ragland – when she was just six years old.
Some believe the reclusive man of the cloth isn’t happy about the attention Meghan’s worldwide fame is bringing to his puzzling religious enterprise.
Bishop Markle’s estranged wife Theresa and his son Nicholas were photographed celebrating Meghan’s royal marriage by watching it on TV and then heading to a Burger King in Sanford for breakfast, leaving with coffee and crowns
Not the King: Nick Markle, 38, was one of Meghan’s four Markle first cousins not to be invited, but he made up for it by getting a crown from Burger King
The chapel itself isn’t publicly listed, and neighbors at his suburban home 40 minutes outside of Orlando are scratching their heads over why he’s gone to such lengths to keep his church concealed.
Some privately suspect it could be for tax reasons.
In public records dating as far back as the 1980, Bishop Dismas’ Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church can only be linked to his neglected Sanford residential address, and his phone number remains unlisted.
When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Orlando had never heard of the church or Dismas Markle.
Neither had the Seminole Historical Society, who coincidentally was almost finished putting together an extensive exhibit on the county’s many churches when DailyMail.com made its inquiries.
Even Fred and Thomas’s other brother, Michael Markle, who lives two hours away in Palm Bay, Florida, has no idea why his brother would be living in and running a church with no parishioners, while letting his residential home go to ruin.
‘My brother always was a hoarder,’ he tells DailyMail.com.
‘I heard his house was going to be condemned, so it’s no surprise he’s living in the church. I don’t even know where it is. Last time we spoke was before Christmas.’
This is Bishop’s Markle’s church, formerly called Our Lady Queen of the Peace Catholic church, Bishop Markle has proclaimed it an outpost of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church – even though it is completely closed to the public and hasn’t seen a single parishioner since the 1980s
The Catholic Diocese of Orlando had never heard of the church or Dismas Markle
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
History: Established 1533 by King Henry VIII after split from Pope
Membership: One million weekly worshipers, millions more nominal attendees
Supreme leader: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Buildings: Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral in London; Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of its most senior cleric; St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where Meghan and Harry married
CHURCH OF MARKLE
History: Established mid-1980s by Fred Markle
Membership: Unclear and could be as low as one – was around 40 in the past but has since dwindled.
Supreme leader: Frederick, Bishop Ditmas, Markle
Buildings: One well-kept small church off a country lane in Sanford, Florida. A second registered address is abandoned. A previous church is now under a tollbooth on a new road through central Florida