The Daily Mail has published what it claims are previously unseen text messages showing the breakdown of Meghan Markle’s relationship with her father.
The texts form part of the paper’s defence for publishing a letter from the Duchess of Sussex to her father, Thomas Markle, who could appear in a court as a witness for the Mail on Sunday to give evidence against his own daughter.
The texts show, according to Associated Newspapers, how the pair fell out in the run-up to her wedding in 2018 when Mr Markle said he could not attend.
According to defence papers seen by Yahoo News UK, Meghan admonished her father for saying he could not travel to the UK.
On 10 May, nine days before the wedding, Mr Markle texted Meghan about clothes she had bought for him to wear to the wedding, legal documents filed this week say.
He wrote: “I look forward to trying on my shoes and see how we look thank you for getting it ready for me its [sic] probably past your bedtime so have a good night I love you Dad.”
On 16 May, Mr Markle had an emergency operation to unblock two arteries to his heart.
The Daily Mail reported that he texted Meghan about the surgery, and said his doctors would not allow him to fly and therefore he could not attend the wedding.
According to court documents, also quoted in the Mail, “he received a text response signed ‘Love M and H’, but which read as if it was from Prince Harry, (amongst other things) admonishing Mr Markle for talking to the press and telling him to stop and accusing Mr Markle of causing hurt to his daughter.
“The text did not ask how the surgical procedure had gone or how Mr Markle was or send him good wishes.”
The newspaper quotes defence papers as showing Mr Markle replied by saying: “I’ve done nothing to hurt you Meghan or anyone else I know nothing about 20 phone calls. I'm sorry my heart attack is … any inconvenience for you.”
The court papers say Mr Markle received no reply and Meghan did not speak to him again before the wedding, and the Mail said he continued to try and make contact.
Meghan wrote the letter at the centre of the upcoming court case to Mr Markle in August 2018. In November 2018, court papers quoted by the Mail said Mr Markle texted her to say: “I want to reach out to you or try to reach out to you one more time.
“You apparently have just written me off and now it's telling me I guess for the rest of my life?”
The newspaper reports legal documents saying he received no response, and has not heard from Meghan since then, nor been introduced to Prince Harry or grandson Archie.
Buckingham Palace did not respond to a request for comment on the texts in the legal documents.
Texts by day
– Thursday May 10 2018: Mr Markle texted the duchess to say he had dropped off some flowers at her mother’s house for Mother’s Day.
He added: “I look forward to trying on my shoes and see how we look thank you for getting it ready for me its probably past your bedtime so have a good night I love you Dad.”
– Saturday May 12 2018: Mr Markle spoke to Prince Harry on the phone, warning him that the story of the staged paparazzi photos was about to break.
– Monday May 14 2018: The duchess’s father wrote to Meghan saying he was sorry and that he would not be attending the wedding to “spare her any further embarrassment”.
In response, Mr Markle received a text from Harry saying he did not need to apologise and he should call.
– Tuesday May 15 2018: Mr Markle texted his daughter to say he was “back in the hospital” having been admitted late the previous evening with suspected heart failure.
– Wednesday May 16 2018: He texted his daughter to say he had undergone emergency heart surgery, and claims all he received in response was a text purportedly from “M and H” but which he believes was from Harry.