Meghan Markle Wrote Letter to Her Father to Protect Prince Harry From 'Berating' by Royal Family
06:41 GMT 13.11.2021 (Updated: 06:44 GMT 13.11.2021)
The news follows the end of a three-day court hearing during which publisher Associated Newspapers Limited tried to appeal a High Court ruling, which said the publication of the Duchess of Sussex's letter to her estranged father was unlawful. The judges will announce the verdict at a later date.
Meghan Markle wrote a letter to her father Thomas in order to protect Prince Harry
from the Royal Family's "constant berating", a text message has revealed. The message along with the Duchess of Sussex's emails were presented to a court this week as part of a legal battle between the royal and Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), which Meghan sued in 2019.
In one message to her former communications secretary Jason Knauf,
Meghan Markle wrote that Prince Harry spent a week "endlessly explaining" the situation with her father to Prince Charles, but the family "fundamentally didn't understand".
"The catalyst for my doing this is seeing how much pain this is causing H. His family seem to forget the context – and revert to 'can't she just go and see him and make this stop?' They fundamentally don't understand so at least by writing H will be able to say to his family 'she wrote him a letter and he's still doing it'. By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating and while unlikely perhaps it will give my father a moment to pause", the Duchess of Sussex wrote.
In another message, Meghan Markle said that she wanted to write a handwritten letter to her father instead of a text message or an email, because it "does not open the door for a conversation". She also noted that unlike digital messages, a handwritten letter can't be forwarded or cut and pasted "to only share one small portion".
Relations With Father and Lawsuit Against ANL
Meghan Markle has had a strained relationship with her father
. It is said that the discord began prior to her wedding with Prince Harry in 2018. Thomas Markle arranged a photoshoot, showing him getting prepared for the ceremony. He said he did that to improve his image, as previously the media had only published photos of him doing menial tasks.
However, he lied to the couple, when they asked if he had any agreement with the tabloid. Since then, Mr Markle has repeatedly criticised his daughter and his son-in law in the media.
Meghan Markle wrote a letter to her father in which she bemoaned his behaviour and called on him to stop attacking the couple.
"If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop. 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", she wrote.
Thomas Markle leaked that letter to the press and The Mail on Sunday published five articles, which contained excerpts of it. In 2019, Meghan Markle sued ANL, the publisher of the newspaper, arguing that the articles violated her privacy and portrayed her in a negative light, because the tabloid selectively edited parts of her letter. A UK High Court earlier this year ruled that the publication was unlawful.
ANL, however, launched an appeal after it obtained information from the royal's former PR chief, Jason Knauf.
He told the court that prior to sending the letter to her father the Duchess of Sussex allegedly asked him "to review" the text and said that it was drafted "with the understanding that it could be leaked".
Meghan Markle also asked him whether she should use the word "daddy" in the letter as "in the unfortunate event that it leaked, it would pull at the heartstrings", Mr Knauf claimed.
A text message revealed to the court showed the PR chief and the Duchess of Sussex discussing the letter.
"The draft letter is very strong – enough emotion to be authentic, but all in resigned sadness rather than anger. Also, there are a few tweaks to the order of events as you've set them out that could be a bit stronger", Jason Knauf wrote.
The communications secretary then suggested writing about how Thomas Markle had stopped communicating with Meghan Markle following the rift and started talking to the press.
"The truth is you tried desperately to find out about the medical treatment he said he was receiving and he stopped communicating with you. You begged him to accept help to drive him to the hospital, etc, and instead of speaking to you to arrange this he stopped answering his phone and only spoke to [the celebrity news website] TMZ", the message to Meghan Markle read.
Lawyers for Associated Newspapers Limited have argued that Meghan Markle's claim about violation of privacy does not hold water as the letter was written "with public consumption in mind". They also pointed to newly-released evidence showing that the royal cooperated with the authors
of her unauthorised biography, something the Duchess of Sussex previously denied. The book contained information about her father, hence, ANL's lawyers argue, Meghan Markle forfeited any right to privacy over the letter.
The royal's lawyers said that although the 40-year-old knew that the letter might be leaked to the press, she didn't want it to be seen publicly.
"To be clear, I did not want any of it to be published, and wanted to ensure that the risk of it being manipulated or misleadingly edited was minimised, were it to be exploited", Meghan Markle said in a written statement.
The verdict in the case is expected to be announced later this month.