In early May 2018, when Meghan Markle should have been singularly preoccupied with her upcoming wedding, she was plagued by the drama and heartbreak surrounding her American family. Meghan’s family woes started when her father Thomas Markle staged paparazzi photos and ended with him rejecting his invitation to the royal wedding. During that chaotic time, Thomas and his other daughter, Samantha Markle, gave a series of troubling interviews to British tabloids that aired their grievances with the royal family. And while all this was happening, the powers that be at Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace apparently didn’t see eye-to-eye when it came to “handling” the Markle family situation.

According to a new Vanity Fair exposé about Markle’s family, Queen Elizabeth II had her own idea on how to rectify the Markle family image but Meghan insisted that she would handle it in her own way.

Meghan and Harry believed that the Thomas and Samantha situation would blow over if everyone stopped talking about it. Regarding the wedding fracas, palace insiders suggest that Thomas should have been brought to “Sandringham or Balmoral in a small cottage where no one knew where he was, and where he would have been very happy,” though obviously, it’s easier to suggest what would have been best after the situation is over. One might call this Meghan/Queen Elizabeth dissonance “royal family drama,” or you could see it as a grown woman standing up to the matriarchy and asking not to be rescued.

“This is her family, and no one at the palace would make a move without her,” Patrick Jephson, author of The Meghan Factor, told the publication.

Unfortunately, Meghan’s tactical silence did not pan out like she intended and both her father and half-sister continue to speak to the press in the months after the wedding. The Vanity Fair piece added that Meghan hopes to repair her relationship with her father in time and under the condition that he stop speaking to the press. We wish Meghan strength and happiness as she continues to navigate this heartbreaking—and very public—situation.