‘Daddy,’ Meghan Markle once wrote in a Valentine’s card to her father Thomas, ‘I don’t express myself as often as I should how much you mean to me. Everything you do for me has turned me into who I am and I am so grateful. All I want to do is make you proud and I promise, no matter what, I’ll do it. Thank you for everything Daddy, I love you with all of my heart now and forever.’
Meghan signed the touching hand-written message ‘Bean’ which was his nickname for her.
She sent him a card every Valentine’s Day.
She also sent him a card every Christmas.
In one of those, she wrote: ‘Daddy, because you have always been so generous with me, and taken the best care of me, it brings me so much joy to be able to give you this, this Christmas. I love you to the end, Meg.’
She enclosed a $2000 gift for him to have a holiday, as a small token of her appreciation for the small fortune he spent on her private education over the years.
But that was then, and this is now.
This is the first Christmas that Thomas Markle hasn’t received a card from his little girl and it’s breaking his heart.
I interviewed him today on Good Morning Britain and found a sad, bemused father in a state of grief for the daughter he fears he may have lost forever.
Thomas Markle is not a bad man.
He’s a 74-year-old guy who was living out a quiet retirement in Mexico when his daughter suddenly began dating a Prince – and not just any Prince but one of the two most famous Princes in the world, the youngest son of Princess Diana.
In that moment, Markle Senior’s life changed irrevocably.
The world’s media converged on him, and he struggled to deal it.
For reasons that continue to baffle me, Prince Harry let this poor guy swing in the wind. Nobody from the substantial Palace staff was sent to see him, advise him or just hold his hand as the paparazzi descended.
Thomas Markle was forced to do what he thought best, and he made some dreadful errors of judgement, most notably colluding with a photographer to make himself look good in the press.
I get why Harry would have hated that, he still blames the media for the death of his mother and has a visceral hatred of paparazzi that is perfectly understandable.
I also get why Meghan will have felt hurt and let down by his actions.
And why she was further infuriated and upset when he pulled out of coming to London for the wedding and walking her down the aisle.
But I believe Thomas when he says the strain of the whole thing caused him heart problems (the Daily Mail has seen his hospital records) and I also believe it all just simply got too much for him.
The consequences of that fateful week have been enormous.
He told me today that Meghan hasn’t spoken to him in 8 months, and has refused to respond to any of his daily text messages and regular letters begging her to forgive him.
Further, Prince Harry has still never met his father-in-law, which seems utterly extraordinary.
And Thomas Markle is left wondering what the hell has happened to his life.
When I asked him today what message he had for Meghan, he replied: ‘I love you very much. I would like to hear from you. Whatever difficulties we’ve had I hope we can work through them. We’re family.’
He wasn’t angry, or bitter.
He was just sad, very very sad.
In a few months, the world will get to see Meghan’s baby, but unless things change, the man who welcomed HER into the world won’t get to see his grandchild.
Meanwhile, he continues to be pursued by the media, and continues to struggle with how best to deal with the attention.
When Meghan’s pregnancy was announced, Thomas had seven paparazzi on his doorstep for the following week.
But nobody seems to have much sympathy. He’s been positioned as a bad father who betrayed his perfect daughter, and as a result he is viciously attacked on social media and the subject of endless criticism in the media.
I think the scale of the abuse he gets is grotesquely unfair.
As to why he speaks out in interviews, he makes the perfectly valid point that he has no other way of responding to the myriad stories about him, many of which are untrue and cruel.
And I believe he hopes Meghan will see them and feel a pang of guilt for the way she has cut him out of her lie.
Thomas wasn’t paid for his Good Morning Britain interview today, so money wasn’t his motivation.
He just wants to get his daughter back.
And I hope he is successful.
But for any rapprochement to happen, Meghan will have to swallow her pride and anger.
‘She has always been a very controlling person,’ Thomas said today. ‘She has always been in charge.’
Well, right now she is in full control of this miserable situation and showing no sign of ever talking to her father again.
When I met Meghan in my local pub, I thought she was a warm, open and very bright woman. She also spoke very lovingly about her family.
As I wrote last week, I find the way she ‘ghosted’ me from the moment she met Harry (that same night) rude and unnecessary, and indicative of a ruthless social climber.
But cutting off me, a casual friend, is an inconsequential thing with no repercussions for her other than it annoyed me and I have various platforms to whine about it.
Cutting off her Dad is on a whole different scale of emotional hell, as she must surely now be discovering.
If I was still in contact with Meghan, I’d do what any friend of hers should be doing now, and look her in the eye to say this: ‘You’ve got everything you ever dreamed of, but please don’t pretend to me that the father you loved so deeply is now dead to you or that this rift is making you happy. Do the right thing and pick the phone up to him while you still can. As your husband knows better than most from what happened to his mother, life can be cut cruelly short.’
Just a few weeks before I saw Meghan, in the summer of 2016, she posted a photo on Instagram of Thomas hugging her as a baby.
‘Happy Father’s Day, Daddy,’ she wrote, ‘I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world.’
From her own words, in so many similar notes and cards, Meghan’s very real love for her father is unquestionable.
SOURCE: Dailymail, Piers Morgan