Meghan Markle is focusing on her new role as a mother after enduring a troublesome relationship with her father that’s been chronicled by the press for months.
“I think really she’s been incredibly hurt and disappointed by how many members of her family have behaved, but from what I am told, she’s moved on,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told Fox News.
Nicholl, a royal correspondent for Vanity Fair, recently published “Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love,” which presents an in-depth look at the former American actress and her marriage to the British prince, and how their high-profile romance is reshaping the monarchy. It features interviews with friends close to the couple, those who have worked with Harry, 34, as well as palace aides, among others.
In February of this year, Markle’s father Thomas Markle released a heartbreaking letter the former “Suits” star wrote to him in the wake of her wedding to Harry in May 2018. The former Hollywood lighting director, 74, told The Mail he originally planned to keep the letter “totally private out of respect for her” until her friends “launched their attack” on him in a shocking tell-all profile for People magazine.
“Daddy, 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 are causing,” the 37-year-old wrote in a handwritten letter, dated August 2018, that’s over five pages.
In various interviews, Thomas has claimed he has no way to reach Markle directly.
“Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces — not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this. Something I will never understand,” Markle wrote to her father.
“If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop,” she continued. “Please allow us to live our lives in peace. Please stop lying, please stop creating so much pain, please stop exploiting my relationship with my husband. I realize you are so far down this rabbit hole that you feel (or may not feel) there’s no way out, but if you take a moment to pause I think you’ll see that being able to live with a clear conscience is more valuable than any payment in the world.”
In the emotional letter, Markle insisted she never heard from Thomas, who famously didn’t attend the royal wedding. Markle also claimed she never received messages from Thomas about his reported heart attack, which he said occurred just before her nuptials.
In the week before the royal wedding, Thomas decided not to attend after an arrangement he made with paparazzi to stage several photo shoots ahead of the big day.
“You’ve told the press that you called me to say you weren’t coming to the wedding — that didn’t happen because you never called,” wrote Markle. “I have only ever loved, protected, and defended you, offering whatever financial support I could, worrying about your health. So the week of the wedding to hear about you having a heart attack through a tabloid was horrifying. I called and texted… I begged you to accept help — we sent someone to your home… and instead of speaking to me to accept this or any help, you stopped answering your phone and chose to only speak to tabloids.”
“I pleaded with you to stop reading the tabloids,” she continued. “On a daily basis, you fixated and clicked on the lies they were writing about me, especially those manufactured by your other daughter, who I barely know. You watched me silently suffer at the hands of your vicious lies, I crumbled inside.”
Nicholl noted that while Markle and Harry are expecting their first child sometime this spring, the public shouldn’t expect a heartfelt reunion between father and daughter anytime soon.
“She’s making a family of her own and I think sometimes that can be unifying,” explained Nicholl. “However, I’m not sure if we will necessarily see that with the Markles and I’m not sure we will see it with Meghan and her father in particular.”
“I’m sure the hope is on Thomas Markle’s part as the paternal grandfather, that he will get to meet his grandchild and perhaps one day he will, but I think there’s a lot that needs to be resolved between father and daughter before there will be a meeting between grandfather and grandson or granddaughter,” added Nicholl.
According to reports, Markle stopped communicating with her father altogether after the wedding. A friend of the surprised patriarch claimed he tried reaching out to his daughter, now the Duchess of Sussex, multiple times by text but hasn’t heard from her in months.
Nicholl added it hasn’t helped matters that Harry hasn’t actually met his father-in-law. Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle has also frequently spoken to the press, slamming her sibling for reportedly shunning their father. In several interviews, Samantha also stated she was set to release a tell-all where she would hold nothing back.
Markle’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., has also been accused of selling stories to tabloids. Just days before the royal wedding, the elder sibling shared a handwritten letter to In Touch warning Harry that “it’s not too late” to stop the wedding. At the time, he insisted Markle is “jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage.” Thomas Jr. would later admit he “made a mistake” writing the letter “out of frustration.”
Nicholl said not even a new baby can quickly solve the troubled relationship Markle has with her father’s side of the family.
“I think the situation with the paternal side of the Markle family is clearly very complex, very fractious,” she said. “I think probably it’s very unlikely that this baby is going to be an opportunity for reapproachment between Meghan and her extended family. … I’m not sure if we will necessarily see that with the Markles and I’m not sure we will see it with Meghan and her father.”