The full content of a sensational letter written by the
Its existence emerged last week after five close friends of the Duchess gave anonymous interviews to an American celebrity magazine.
They said the Duchess was so upset by her father Thomas Markle’s public attacks on her and
But last night Mr Markle said the letter, extracts of which are published today by The Mail on Sunday, is far from conciliatory and has left him feeling ‘devastated’.
Thomas Markle has revealed the full content of a five-page letter written to him by his daughter the Duchess of Sussex
The bombshell five-page letter, sent in August last year, lays bare the true depths of the Duchess’s estrangement from her father.
In elegant script, she accuses him of breaking her heart ‘into a million pieces’ by giving interviews to the press, fabricating stories and attacking her new husband.
The Duchess also admonishes her father, in anguished tones, for siding with her half-sister Samantha – who has attacked her in the press – while she ‘silently suffered at the hand of her vicious lies’.
Her writing is elegant and distinctive. Over five pages, the Duchess of Sussex pours out her heart to her father in a letter written last August – three months after their bitter rift began. Time and again, she chastises him for the hurt and pain he has caused her and insists she and Prince Harry did all they could to help Thomas Markle, even when he pulled out of the Royal Wedding days before their May 19 nuptials
Meghan’s sad opening message to ‘Daddy’ as she sits down to pour out her heart to her estranged father over five handwritten pages
The Duchess claims Mr Markle causes her pain by being manipulated in the media but he insists ‘I love her with all my heart’
She goes on to complain that Mr Markle has made no attempt to contact her – and chastises him for falsely telling journalists he is the one who has been shunned – a criticism her father vehemently refutes.
She also accuses her father of snubbing her and Prince Harry’s offers to help when he pulled out of attending their wedding following two heart attacks and accuses him of being ungrateful for money she has given him.
The former award-winning Hollywood lighting director, who now lives in Mexico, said that he never intended to make the handwritten missive public ‘out of respect for Meghan’ – but says he has been forced to do so now because its contents have been falsely portrayed.
Mr Markle insists: ‘I sent Meg and Harry a text telling them I wasn’t coming. It was too dangerous after my heart attacks’
Mr Markle says he only asked for help to move house and that any ‘modest’ financial gifts from Meghan were ‘greatly appreciated’
Her father says: ‘I didn’t stop answering my phone. I was in hospital with a heart attack! Meg and Harry knew what was going on’
Mr Markle comments: ‘I have no idea what this means. This is pure Harry. Americans don’t use the “rabbit hole” expression’
Meghan complains Thomas sided with her half-sister Samantha in criticising her, but he insists: ‘I never wanted Meg to suffer.’
Contrary to claims made by the Duchess’s friends, he said the letter made no attempt to heal their bitter rift. ‘I thought it would be an olive branch. Instead, it was a dagger to the heart,’ Mr Markle, 74, said last night.
He dismissed suggestions he has made no attempt to patch things up since her wedding. He showed this newspaper texts which he says prove he reached out multiple times to his daughter and the son-in-law he has never met.
The US magazine People claimed to ‘put the record straight’ over the Duchess’s relationship with her father and criticism of her style as a Royal.
It was based on interviews with five friends – at least one of whom is thought to be one of the Duchess’s co-stars in Suits, the legal drama in which she starred for six years.
Thomas Markle says: ‘I’ve never attacked Harry. I asked him to man up’
He insists the Duchess is mistaken: ‘I have only ever spoken out in response to fake narratives and lies’
The Duchess refers to the MoS paparazzi photos story, right, but he insists he continued to reach out
The Duchess came under fire over her apparent decision to allow her confidantes to defend her in the extraordinary interview, without, it is understood, involving Kensington Palace.
The palace has refused to comment on whether the magazine’s anonymous sources had co-operated at the direct request of the Duchess or with her tacit approval.
Former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter, who worked for both Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, feared the decision would only exacerbate issues.
He said: ‘Assuming – and as these sources are anonymous we don’t know for sure – that this was done with her agreement, it has opened a Pandora’s box. The issue with her father is an open wound and I’m not entirely sure it is the best idea to aggravate that.’
In her letter to her father, the Duchess begged him to stop attacker ‘patient, kind and understanding’ Prince Harry
Last night, Mr Markle said it was unfair for his daughter’s friends to use the media to ‘spin a line’ while he was being criticised for ‘giving a handful’ of interviews to the press. In the article last Wednesday, the Duchess’s friends said that she was devastated by his response to the letter, in which he suggested father and daughter pose for press pictures.
One friend said: ‘She feels like “that’s the opposite of what I’m saying. I’m telling you that I don’t want to communicate through the media, and you’re asking me to… Did you hear anything I said?” ’
Mr Markle said he had suggested the photo op as a way of showing the world they could be friends again, describing the Duchess’s reading of it as ‘tragic misunderstanding’ he wishes he could put straight. The rift between the Duchess and her father began after The Mail on Sunday revealed, just days before her wedding in May last year, that he had colluded with the paparazzi to stage a series of lucrative photo opportunities.
Such was his humiliation that he offered to pull out of attending the Royal Wedding and was later prevented from going after suffering two heart attacks.
Since then, he has given a series of damaging interviews in which he has spoken of his dismay at being cast adrift by his daughter and the Royal Family.
Thomas’s Anguished Reply
The Duchess insisted she phoned him, but he had no missed calls
Mr Markle says he never attacked Harry, but feels he should have met him before the wedding
Mr Markle insists his bid to reduce press intrusion was ‘completely misinterpreted’
Mr Markle says he never heard from his ex-wife after his plea to help him heal the rift
How Meghan’s media fightback led her father to reveal letter he wanted to keep secret
The Duchess’s father told no one about her letter and planned to ‘keep it totally private out of respect for her’ – until her friends launched their ‘attack’ on him last week.
Following Meghan’s ‘Duchess Difficult’ reputation and stories of her allegedly petulant behaviour like firing off 5am emails to staff and demanding air freshener be sprayed around musty St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Meghan is said to have authorised five of her closest friends to speak to US People magazine to correct the falsehoods.
The article painted Meghan in a glowing light, while insisting the negative stories about her were lies. But Mr Markle says Meghan’s decision to reveal the private letter in the pages of the magazine left him with no choice but to go public: ‘The letter was presented in a way that vilified me and wasn’t true,’ he said last night. ‘It was presented as her reaching out and writing a loving letter in the hope of healing the rift, but the letter isn’t like that at all. Meghan can’t have it both ways. She can’t use the press to get her message across but hang me out to dry. I have the right to defend myself.’
Experts have claimed the Duchess is walking a dangerous path by allegedly bypassing the palace press office.