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Meghan Markle: The Duchess of Sussex - In pictures

As the Duchess of Sussex has become one of the most famous women in the world, much of her life has been exposed to intense scrutiny - not least the relationship with her father Thomas Markle.

Prior to her high profile marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan described her relationship with her father as “close-knit”, but following a photo scandal involving Thomas, his absence at her wedding and a series of interviews he has given to outlets about her including TMZ, the Daily Mail and Us Weekly, the pair’s relationship has cooled considerably - leaving them effectively estranged.

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Thomas claims that he has not met Prince Harry or his grandson Archie after being “frozen out” by the Royal Family, while his ex-wife Doria Ragland remains a fixture in Meghan’s life.

Thomas is reportedly set to be a key witness in Meghan’s landmark lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday, in which her lawyers claim the paper misrepresented her with “clear malicious intent” when they published a private letter she addressed to her father, amongst other claims. (The Mail on Sunday denies all charges.)

Meghan in 2010 (Getty Images)

Meghan Markle was born in 1981 to Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, who separated when she was two years old.

Thomas spoke to the Mail on Sunday about her birth, saying, “When they handed her to me and I held her in my arms for the first time it was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful baby.”

He continued, “Meghan winked at me and I fell in love and have never stopped loving her from that day forward."

Speaking at length about her childhood and their relationship, Meghan explained in an essay for Elle, “It was the late Seventies when my parents met, my dad was a lighting director for a soap opera and my mom was a temp at the studio. I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her Afro, plus their shared love of antiques.”

Meghan with her mother Doria Ragland (Getty Images)

Meghan previously talked about what it was like growing up biracial and in a divorced household, opening up in an interview with Vanity Fair in October 2017.

She said, “I never saw [my parents] fight. We would still take vacations together. My dad would come on Sundays to drop me off, and we’d watch Jeopardy! eating dinner on TV trays, the three of us... We were still so close-knit.”

She also added that Thomas had gone above and beyond to customise a doll family set that looked like theirs. In her Elle piece, she wrote, “When I was about seven, I had been fawning over a boxed set of Barbie dolls. It was called The Heart Family and included a mom doll, a dad doll, and two children. This perfect nuclear family was only sold in sets of white dolls or black dolls.”

Meghan Markle and Thomas Markle (PA/Reuters)

“On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family: a black mom doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each colour. My dad had taken the sets apart and customised my family,” she continued.

Thomas also talked about how as a child, he used to call her “bean” - adding that as she loved the story Jack and the Beanstalk so much, they changed the name to “Bean and the Beanstalk”.

Meghan also described how Thomas helped champion her biracial identity, explaining how when she was in seventh grade, she was unable to tick a box on a census form in class - as her ethnicity wasn’t listed. After she told her father that her teacher had told her to tick a box for Caucasian by telling her, “Because that’s how you look, Meghan” - Meghan described how her father had become angry.

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She wrote, “He said the words that have always stayed with me: 'If that happens again, you draw your own box.’ I never saw my father angry, but in that moment I could see the blotchiness of his skin crawling from pink to red. It made the green of his eyes pop and his brow was weighted at the thought of his daughter being prey to ignorance.”

“He wanted me to see beyond that census placed in front of me,” she said. “He wanted me to find my own truth.”

She inherited her father’s passion for the entertainment industry at a young age, as Thomas worked behind the scenes as a lighting director and director of photography for Married...With Children.

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Although he retired in 2012, Meghan said she spent “every day after school for ten years” on the set of Married...With Children after school which she called “a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up.”

Meghan told Esquire in 2013 that she “wasn’t allowed to watch [the show] at home” and continued, “There were a lot of times my dad would say, "Meg, why don't you go and help with the craft services room over there? This is just a little off-color for your 11-year-old eyes.”

However, she said, “I could watch the end credits so I could give the screen a kiss when I saw my dad's name go by.”

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Meghan first rose to fame on the sitcom Suits, in which she played one of its leading characters: a fierce paralegal called Rachel Zane. When speaking to Esquire, she revealed that after growing up on a television set with her father it had impacted her working life on set.

She explained, “Transpo [the transportation crew]—that's the world that I'm comfortable with. Especially the director of photography. I will always find my light. No question.”

Meghan behind the scenes on SUits (Instagram / @halfadams)

“And if I don't, I'll know, because my dad will be the first person to call me and say, ‘You need to have him bring another 2K in,’ and ‘Why aren't you using this sort of lighting gel?’ The crew guys know that it's where I grew up,” she continued.

He told the Mail on Sunday that Meghan had written him “hundreds of little cards and notes through the years”, which were sometimes for special occasions or just at random. He said that after Meghan landed her role on Suits, she gave him a generous $2,000 holiday fund on Christmas towards a future vacation.

Thomas Markle told Good Morning Britain that Meghan first told him about Prince Harry over the phone, dropping little hints before eventually admitting she was dating the prince.

Though he did not specify exactly when the calls happened, it’s assumed that they took place in 2016 when the pair first began seeing each other.

Thomas said, “Well, the first phone calls [about Prince Harry] were, ‘Daddy, I have a new boyfriend.’ And I said, ‘That’s really nice.’ And then the next call was like, ‘He’s British.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s really nice.’”

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“And eventually, the third time around was, ‘He’s a Prince.’ And at that point she said, ‘It’s Harry.’ And I said, ‘Oh. Harry! Okay,’” he continued.

He said that Meghan had asked him to refer to Prince Harry as ‘H’ from then on whenever they spoke about him, claiming that his daughter had said, “We’ll have to call him H so no one knows that we’re talking about Harry.”

(Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

In a later interview with Good Morning Britain, Thomas Markle revealed that Prince Harry had asked him for Meghan’s hand in marriage. While he didn’t specify a date, he explained, “Actually, Meghan told me first and at that time - then a few times after that - Harry got on the phone with Meghan. They called me together and Harry asked for her hand over the phone.”

“I said, ‘You’re a gentleman. Promise me you’ll never raise your hand against my daughter and of course, I give you my permission,’” he continued.

Meghan also revealed in her and Prince Harry’s engagement interview with the BBC that at the time, Thomas had yet to meet her fiancee in person (though they had spoken on the phone). She said, “Everybody was really happy. And [Prince Harry’s] talked to my dad a few times, hasn’t been able to meet him just yet, but it’s all been, it’s all been worth every effort.”

However, Thomas later told the Mail on Sunday that the engagement was a turning point. He claimed he had “seven paparazzi on my doorstep night and day for seven days”, with some going as far as to rent the house next door to his.

Following the announcement of Meghan and Prince Harry’s engagement, Thomas released a joint statement with his estranged wife Doria Ragland about their union. The pair said, “We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”

It continued, “We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”

Ahead of the royal wedding, photos of Meghan’s father ‘preparing’ for her nuptials were shared widely. The most popular one was a shot of him in a coffee shop in Rosarito, the Mexican town he lives in, reading a very on-the-nose book called Images of Great Britain: A Pictorial Tour Through History. Others included ones of him being ‘measured’ by a tailor for a suit and him working out.

At this moment in time, he was believed to be walking his daughter Meghan down the aisle.

An internet cafe where Thomas Markle was photographed (Getty Images)

Following the release of the viral Thomas Markle pictures, the Daily Mail claimed that they had footage which shows Thomas and paparazzo Jeff Rayner entering an internet cafe together. At the cafe, Rayner snapped photos of Thomas looking at royal wedding news on a computer.

The outlet also spoke to the tailor from the photographs, who revealed he wasn’t even a tailor - he was just an employee from another store. He told the Daily Mail, “This big American guy got the measuring tape out of his pocket and he was saying things in English... The photographer he was with stepped back to the street and started taking pictures. The big man was showing me what to do with the tape, holding it across himself. I just went along with it. I was telling him the measurements but he didn’t write them down or anything.”

The pictures reportedly were sold for as much as £100,000. Later on, Meghan’s half-sister Samantha claimed she was responsible for the staged photos as she tweeted, “The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault. The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the Royal Family. We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money @KensingtonRoyal.”

He also admitted to taking the staged photos after a paparazzi agency ‘approached him’ and said yes in the hopes that it ‘would help recast his image’. However, he claimed the pictures looked “stupid and hammy” and that he regretted taking them.

Later in August, Thomas admitted to faking the pictures and also revealed Prince Harry had called him at the time about them. When confronted, Thomas told the Daily Mail he lied to Prince Harry about staging the pictures and instead tried to claim that he was being “measured for a hoodie.”

He also revealed that Prince Harry told him, “Harry told me that I should never go to the press. That it would end in tears. He said, ‘They will eat you alive.’ He was right.”

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Shortly after the Daily Mail released its expose on Thomas’ photos, the lighting director revealed to TMZ that he ended up suffering from a heart attack.

In the same TMZ interview in which he admitted to staging the photographs with a paparazzi agency, he told the outlet that he had checked himself out of hospital so that he could attend Meghan’s wedding on May 19.

However, he said in the same piece that he had “decided not to go because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.”

After this, he appeared to change his mind as he told TMZ that Meghan had reached out to him and sent him a text ‘telling him she loved him and was concerned about his health’ after he missed a phone call from her. He then said, “I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle.”

He added that if the hospital would let him, he would go to the UK and walk her down the aisle. He continued, “Of course I'd walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I'd like to be a part of history."

However, he then told TMZ days later that he couldn’t attend the wedding at all, as he had heart surgery scheduled. He said he was suffering pains ‘triggered by emotional upset’ - naming his daughter Samantha Grant as one of the causes and an open letter penned by his son, Thomas Markle Jr. to Prince Harry warning him against marrying Meghan.

He said that the doctors would be going in to “clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed.” He also said in a Good Morning Britain interview that when he told Meghan he couldn’t go, she burst into tears.

“They were disappointed, but they both said, and Meghan cried I’m sure...she did cry...they both said ‘take care of yourself, we are worried about you’. They said the important thing is that I get better,” he said.

He also told the Daily Mail later in December that he actually had a “second heart attack” shortly afterwards and shared documents with the outlet to “prove inconclusively” that he was not lying about his medical condition. He added that he was driven across the border to an American hospital where “they saved my life.”

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Thomas told the Daily Mail in August 2018 that Prince Harry called him after he had his heart attack. He claimed the prince told him, “If you had listened to me this would never have happened.”

Thomas said that he responded, “Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead… then you could pretend to be sad.”

“Then I hung up,” he finished. He also added that Prince Harry was “absolutely right” to tell him off and also added that Meghan told him he was not allowed to make a father of the bride speech if he attended, which he said “hurt.”

“I’m not mad at Harry. I’m not mad at Meghan. I love them. I wish them well. But as for the rest of it, f*** it. I’m done,” he told the Daily Mail.

In a later interview with People, friends of Meghan Markle claimed that even after the photos emerged, “Meg and Harry were still so focused on getting [Tom] to London. At no point was there talk of ‘Now that we know he lied, he’s in trouble.’ Tom wouldn’t take her calls, wouldn’t take Harry’s calls. The next morning when the car got there [to take him to the airport], he wouldn’t get in.”

The source continued, “[Later] Meg heard he had a heart attack and she’s calling and texting, even up to the night before the wedding. It was like, ‘Please pick up. I love you, and I’m scared.’ It was endless.”

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Kensington Palace released a statement from Meghan regarding her father, which read, “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

An additional statement also revealed that as Thomas was unable to come, Meghan ended up asking Prince Charles to walk her down the aisle.

A Kensington Palace statement read, “Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St. George's Chapel on her Wedding Day. The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.”

Thomas told TMZ that he was “honoured and grateful” that Prince Charles would be taking his place and that he would be “proudly” watch her get married on television. He later elaborated to Good Morning Britain, “I was jealous, I wish it had been me but thank God [Prince Charles] was there.”

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Meghan officially marries Prince Harry on May 19. She was walked down the aisle by Prince Charles as her mother Doria Ragland watched on, however Thomas was not in attendance. He instead watched from afar with the rest of the world and called it “emotional and joyful.”

He told TMZ, “My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy. I wish I were there and I wish them all my love and all happiness.”

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In June, he then told Good Morning Britain, “She was beautiful. I cried a little watching her. I was very proud and I couldn’t see a better moment in my life. The unfortunate thing now is that I’m a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history instead of a dad walking his daughter down the aisle.”

“It was a very emotional moment,” he said. “I regretted it because I really wanted to walk her down the aisle. But I’m thankful for how it all went.”

Thomas Markle on Good Morning Britain

Thomas then spoke to Good Morning Britain for a headline-making interview, in which he made a number of claims.

The events leading up to the wedding were mentioned, but Thomas added he had spoken with Prince Harry who told him to “give Donald Trump a chance” as well as that he thought Harry seemed “open” to the Brexit, which he described as an “experiment.”

He also indicated that he would “certainly love to meet the Queen”, who he called an “incredible woman”, and wanted to come to London to meet Prince Harry and the rest of the family. He also said that his daughter had “always wanted children” but didn’t know if they were pregnant or not.

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“I send my love to both of them. I couldn’t be more proud of those two and I think they’ll do great,” he said. “I couldn’t be more happy to have a new son-in-law, I love them both dearly."

The Daily Mail claimed Thomas was paid £7,500 for the appearance and alleged Kensington Palace had no idea about the interview until it went live.

Following the news, Piers Morgan said Thomas pocketed “a few thousand pounds” and that his “ultimate motive was not money.”

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Thomas told TMZ his Good Morning Britain interview had caused a rift between himself, Meghan and the Royal Family. He said, “I was silent for a full year and the press beat me up every day saying I was a hermit hiding in Mexico, so I gave my story [to Good Morning Britain].”

“Apparently that interview put the Royal Family in their silence mode... so I gave another interview to break the silence. All they have to do is speak to me,” he said.

The Mirror also claimed Thomas had told friends he believed Meghan and Harry are “shot of me now” adding, “I told her not to come and visit when I was in hospital. I think that relationship is lost now.”

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In October, Harry and Meghan made their first royal tour as a married couple in Australia, a memorable one when they announced at the outset that Meghan was pregnant. The statement read, “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

Thomas was reportedly told Meghan was pregnant by his ex-wife Doria Ragland, shortly before the public announcement was made. He told the Mail on Sunday that he had been listening to KABC Talk Radio, a station in California, when the news was announced and said it was “overwhelming.”

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"The first thing I thought about was holding Meghan in my arms as a newborn 37 years ago. I thought, 'My baby is having a baby.’ It was a very proud moment,” he said.

The outlet also claimed Thomas had written a letter to his daughter to reach out.

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Thomas spoke to the Mail on Sunday again to reveal that he had made “dozens of attempts” to reach Meghan through letters, texts, handwritten notes and asked Ragland to pass one along on his behalf.

He claimed he was trying to “correct the lies and get the truth out there” by doing the interview.

He said, “Meghan and I never had any problems before this. If she would just speak to me, things could be different. I love Meghan very much. I want her and Harry to have a beautiful, healthy baby and a great life. But I want them to stop believing the lies.”

He also added he hoped that “some day” he and Meghan would be reunited.

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Thomas claimed to Piers Morgan that he had been “ghosted” by his daughter and said that he was “very disappointed.” He said, “I am not sure why it is happening. I have been reaching out. I have been trying to reach out for several weeks. Every day send a text, I just haven’t got anything back.”

“I just keep asking for her to respond back to me and I haven’t got any response back. I have sent letters,” he continued.

Unlike his initial appearance, he was not paid for the interview. He also confirmed he and Meghan had not spoken since the royal wedding in May, which he could not attend, and that he and Ragland were no longer on speaking terms.

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The letter at the centre of a current lawsuit filed by Meghan first came to light in February 2019.

Although the letter was not explicitly shared, a number of Meghan’s anonymous friends spoke with People to challenge Thomas’ claims that he was unable to contact her and revealed the existence of the letter.

A friend claimed, “After the wedding she wrote him a letter. She’s like, ‘Dad, I’m so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimizing me through the media so we can repair our relationship.’ Because every time her team has to come to her and fact-check something [she has said], it’s an arrow to the heart.”

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The letter would later be published by the Mail on Sunday just days later, after Thomas shared it with the publication. Meghan would go on to file a lawsuit against the outlet for publishing the letter.

“He writes her a really long letter in return, and he closes it by requesting a photo op with her,” the source continued. “And she feels like, ‘That’s the opposite of what I’m saying. I’m telling you I don’t want to communicate through the media, and you’re asking me to communicate through the media. Did you hear anything I said?’ It’s almost like they’re ships passing.”

Another friend told People, “He knows how to get in touch with her. Her telephone number hasn’t changed. He’s never called, he’s never texted. It’s super painful, because Meg was always so dutiful. I think she will always feel genuinely devastated by what he’s done. And at the same time, because she’s a daughter, she has a lot of sympathy for him.”

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Thomas shared the letter that Meghan’s friends mentions in the People feature with the Mail on Sunday, who published it and described him as feeling “devastated”.

The letter, which is five pages long, was sent in August shortly after the royal wedding and extracts were published in an article titled “Revealed: The letter showing true tragedy of Meghan’s rift with a father she says has ‘broken her heart into a million pieces’.”

Thomas claimed he had shared the letter as he told People the article “vilified” him and “wasn’t true”, adding, “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.”

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In the letter, she refers to Thomas as “Daddy” and opens the letter, “It is with a heavy heart that I write this, not understanding why you have chosen to take this path, turning a blind eye to the pain you’re causing.”

She adds in the letter that his actions had “broken my heart into a million pieces” and made other claims, including that Thomas had not tried to reach out to her, was lying to journalists and also that he had rejected their help after his embarrassing paparazzi scandal and heart attacks.

The Mail on Sunday did not publish the letter in its entirety and only included extracts of the letter, as well as extracts from Thomas’ response letter in which he defended himself against her.

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One part of Thomas’ letter read, “You can hate me if you want. I can’t force you. I made a big mistake… I’m human and I’m sorry! How much longer must I say it??”

He also defended asking Meghan for a photo op, explaining he believed Meghan had a “tragic misunderstanding” of his intentions as he wanted to show the world ‘they could be friends again’.

In the letter he wrote, “I wish we could get together and take a photo for the whole world to see. If you and Harry don’t like it? Fake it for one photo.”

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Meghan Markle gives birth to Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and shows him to the world with her husband Prince Harry.

Photos are later shared of Queen Elizabeth and Doria Ragland with Archie, however Thomas is not present.

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In July, Prince Harry and Meghan christened Archie in a private ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Ragland, Prince William, Kate Middleton and other members of the Royal Family, however Thomas revealed he was not invited in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.

He told the newspaper: “I have been asked if I would have liked to have gone to Britain to see my new grandson being christened.

“I was an altar boy at age 12, a confirmed member of the Queen's church at age 14, and Archie is my new grandson, so of course I would have enjoyed being there for the blessing, wishing Archie and his parents health and happiness.”

(SplashNews.com)

Thomas claimed to the Mail on Sunday that he had never met Prince Harry and said, “I’ve still never met my son-in-law. Why couldn’t Prince Harry have got on a plane and flown to see me to ask for [Meghan’s] hand? He obviously has no problem getting on private jets.”

He also revealed he had not met Archie and while he said that he had “stayed quiet” while Meghan was pregnant, he had decided to speak out as he was still being frozen out by the family.

He said, “Of course I'm disappointed not to see Archie. I had hoped becoming a mother would mellow Meghan and she would reach out.”

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He said, “I would like them to send me a picture of Archie so I can frame it and put it on my wall beside the one of Meghan. Isn't that what any grandfather would want? I'd love to know if he's got the famous Markle nose.”

Thomas shared a baby picture of Meghan with the outlet at two years old, a picture he called his “favourite ever picture of her.”

Calling her “Meggie”, he said, “ We were so close. I would come home from work and I would hold her against my chest and we would walk around for hours and hours. Sometimes I get the feeling people think I don't love my daughter. I do love her very much. I would love nothing more than to put a picture of Archie in a frame and place it beside the one of Meghan.”

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He additionally challenged comments she made in Fiji about how she was able to attend university with “scholarships, financial aid programmes and work study from [her] earnings from a job on campus” - claiming that he had “paid every penny of her tuition.”

He said, “I always upheld my responsibilities as a father. Meghan's comments about paying her way through college are offensive to me. I don't want anything from Meghan or Harry but I'm not going to shut up until the whole truth is out there. I will continue to contradict anything said about me that isn't true.”

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“I have to stand up for myself. I'm going to carry on speaking and I'm not going to shut up. No father deserves this kind of abuse when he's been that good to his daughter. Ask anyone who knows us both. I've been very kind and generous to my daughter,” he said.

Thomas also said that he attempted to send her a message for her birthday, saying, “I sent her a card via her financial adviser in LA but received no acknowledgement. I have no idea if she got it.”

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Over the course of Meghan and Prince Harry’s South African royal tour, the couple dropped the bombshell that Meghan had filed a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers over the letter she wrote to her father.

The news was announced on the Sussex’s official website, in which Prince Harry wrote that he saw Meghan was “falling victim to the same powerful forces” that claimed his mother and said that “to stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.”

Her lawsuit seeks damages from the Mail on Sunday’s parent company on the charges of misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act by publishing her “private and confidential letter.”

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According to PA, the lawsuit claims the letter was “obviously private correspondence” written at a “time of great personal anguish and distress” - alleging that the Mail on Sunday has chosen to “deliberately or omit or suppress” parts of the letter which “intentionally distorted or manipulated” its reading.

It also claims that she was not given prior warning of the letter’s publication and Schillings, the law firm representing Meghan, claimed, “The claimant intended the detailed contents of the letter to be private, and certainly did not expect them to be published to the world at large by a national newspaper, and without any warning.”

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The lawsuit also cited a handwriting expert’s analysis of her letter as evidence of “clear malicious intent”, stating, “The ‘analysis’ was used to make derogatory allegations about the claimant’s character in order to lend support to the defendant’s pre-conceived narrative for the articles and the attack upon the claimant.”

“For example, the defendant labelled the claimant a ‘showman and a narcissist’ based solely on her handwriting style,” it continued.

The Mail on Sunday denied the allegations and stands by the story.

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Meghan and Harry announced at the start of the year that they would be stepping down as senior royals and splitting their time between the UK and North America, as they sought to become “financially independent.”

Within hours of the announcement - which was published on their official website and seemingly without Buckingham Palace’s knowledge - Thomas spoke to Us Weekly about the situation.

He told the publication, “I’ll just simply say I’m disappointed.”

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Months after Meghan filed her suit against the Mail on Sunday, the newspaper defended itself and claimed that the letter was legally published due to the “legitimate public interest” in the “conduct and standards” of royals.

BBC obtained court documents regarding the Mail on Sunday’s legal defence, which included a statement in which they stated Meghan and the Royal Family “rely on publicity about themselves and their lives to maintain the privileged positions they hold.”

The Mail on Sunday’s sister publication the Daily Mail also revealed that Thomas Markle was ‘prepared to give evidence against his own daughter.’

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The evidence constitutes text messages between himself and her around the time the letter was first written and would form part of the Mail on Sunday’s legal defence against the Duchess.

It also reported that Thomas has agreed to ‘appear as the newspaper’s key witness,’ meaning that if the case goes to trial then he and his daughter could be called to testify against each other.

The Daily Mail also published a detailed timeline alongside what the Mail on Sunday’s defence claimed happened over the weeks leading up to the wedding, which reportedly included Thomas sending Meghan a series of messages which included him saying ‘he would come if she really needed him’ at the wedding and asking who would give her away.

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In one of Thomas’ biggest media appearances, it was revealed that Channel 5 would be airing a feature-length documentary called Thomas Markle: My Story - a programme which Deadline reports would ‘tell the breakdown of his relationship with the Duchess of Sussex and his reaction to the news of the royal split.’ In clips released ahead of the documentary, Thomas was seen criticising his daughter and Prince Harry for “cheapening” the Royal Family.

Calling their decision to step away “disappointing”, he said, “It’s disappointing because she actually got every girl’s dream. Every young girl wanted to become a princess and she got that. And now, she’s tossing that away for - it seems like she’s tossing it away for money.”

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“When they got married, they got married for an obligation. It was to be part of the royals and to represent the royals and it would be foolish for them not to,” he continued. “This is like one of the greatest long living institutions ever. They’re destroying it, they’re cheapening it, they’re making it shabby,” he said.

“They’re turning it into a Wal-Mart with a crown on it. It’s something that’s ridiculous, they shouldn’t be doing this,” he said.

It is not clear if Thomas was paid for his role in the documentary.

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