Meghan Markle Says Prince Harry Faced "Constant Berating" from the Royal Family About Her Father
Nearly a year after Meghan Markle first won her privacy case against Associated Newspapers Limited, the tabloid is now seeking to overturn the ruling, and in the process, new text exchanges and emails between the duchess and a royal aide have been released in court as evidence.
On Friday, the London's Court of Appeal shared these messages as a result of the MailOnline's appeal hearing. In the text messages sent to communications secretary Jason Knauf, Meghan expressed her concern about the "constant berating" Prince Harry was receiving from the royal family about her strained relationship with her father, Thomas Markle. Following the couple's May 2018 nuptials, Meghan wrote her dad a letter (which was eventually leaked by the newspaper being sued for publishing it) in an effort to ease Harry's distress.
"The catalyst for my doing this is seeing how much pain this is causing H," Markle wrote to Knauf via text in 2018. "Even after a week with his dad [Prince Charles] and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context — and revert to 'can't she just go and see him and make this stop?'" She continued, "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 is 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."
Meghan also feared the possibility of the letter being made public, adding: "Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice." Specifically, her decision to call Markle "daddy." "Given I've only ever called him daddy it makes sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings," she wrote. She also hand-wrote the letter and numbered each page in an attempt to safeguard against any manipulation by the media.
The same day a judge ruled in Meghan's favor, lawyers for Associated Newspapers Limited challenged the court's decision at the U.K. Court of Appeals. When asked about the appeal case during a conversation at The New York Times DealBook Online Summit, Meghan revealed, "In terms of this appeal, I won the case and this issue, frankly, has been going on when I had no children at all, I now have two children as you know. It's an arduous process."
"But again, it's just me standing up for what's right, be it in this case or in the [case for economic and professional parity] we're talking about today," Meghan continued. "At a certain point, no matter how difficult it is, you know the difference between right and wrong. You must stand up for what's right, and that's what I'm doing."