Duchess let­ter ‘dag­ger to heart’

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - World -

The es­tranged fa­ther of the Duchess of Sus­sex has re­vealed the full con­tents of a sen­sa­tional let­ter she wrote to him shortly af­ter her wed­ding.

The let­ter’s ex­is­tence emerged last week af­ter five close friends of the Duchess gave anony­mous in­ter­views to a US celebrity mag­a­zine.

They said she was so up­set by her fa­ther Thomas Markle’s pub­lic at­tacks on her and Prince Harry that she penned the an­guished let­ter beg­ging him to patch up their dif­fer­ences pri­vately. But last night Mr Markle said the let­ter is far from con­cil­ia­tory and has left him feel­ing “dev­as­tated”.

The bomb­shell five-page let­ter, sent in Au­gust last year, lays bare the true depths of the Duchess’s es­trange­ment from her fa­ther.

In el­e­gant script, she ac­cuses him of break­ing her heart “into a mil­lion pieces” by giv­ing in­ter­views to the press, fab­ri­cat­ing sto­ries and at­tack­ing her new hus­band. The Duchess also ad­mon­ishes her fa­ther for sid­ing with her half-sis­ter Sa­man­tha — who has at­tacked the for­mer ac­tor in the press — while she “silently suf­fered at the hand of her vi­cious lies”.

She goes on to com­plain Mr Markle has made no at­tempt to con­tact her, and chas­tises him for falsely telling jour­nal­ists he is the one who has been shunned — a crit­i­cism he ve­he­mently de­nies.

She also ac­cuses her fa­ther of snub­bing her and Prince Harry’s of­fers to help when he pulled out of at­tend­ing their wed­ding fol­low­ing two heart at­tacks and ac­cuses him of be­ing un­grate­ful for money she has given him.

Mr Markle, who lives in Mex­ico, said he never in­tended to make the hand­writ­ten mis­sive pub­lic “out of re­spect for Meghan” — but says he has been forced to do so be­cause its con­tents have been falsely por­trayed.

Con­trary to claims made by the Duchess’s friends, he said the let­ter made no at­tempt to heal their bit­ter rift. “I thought it would be an olive branch. In­stead, it was a dag­ger to the heart,” Mr Markle, 74, said.

US mag­a­zine Peo­ple claimed to “put the record straight” over the Duchess’s re­la­tion­ship with her fa­ther and crit­i­cism of her style as a royal. It was based on in­ter­views with five of her friends — at least one of whom is be­lieved to have been one of her costars in le­gal drama Suits.

Mr Markle said it was un­fair for his daugh­ter’s friends to use the me­dia to “spin a line” while he was be­ing crit­i­cised for “giv­ing a hand­ful” of in­ter­views to the press.

In the ar­ti­cle last Wed­nes­day, the Duchess’s friends said that she was dev­as­tated by his re­sponse to the let­ter, in which he sug­gested fa­ther and daugh­ter pose for press pic­tures.

Mr Markle said he had sug­gested the photo op as a way of show­ing the world they could be friends again, de­scrib­ing the Duchess’s read­ing of it as a “tragic mis­un­der­stand­ing” he wishes he could put straight.

The rift be­tween the Duchess and her fa­ther be­gan just days be­fore her wed­ding in May last year, when it was re­vealed he had col­luded with the pa­parazzi to stage a se­ries of lu­cra­tive photo op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Pic­ture: Getty

The Duchess of Sus­sex, who is due to give birth in April, has been es­tranged from her fa­ther since shortly be­fore her wed­ding last year.

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