Retired award-winning Hollywood lighting director Mr Markle has not spoken to his ‘beloved Bean’ – his childhood nickname for Meghan – for more than ten weeks and claims the rift is punishment for him staging fake paparazzi pictures before the wedding and then daring to speak out in his own defence.
Thomas Markle, 74, lives 5,495 miles away from his daughter Meghan in Rosarito, Mexico
‘I’m really hurt that she’s cut me off completely. I used to have a phone number and text number for her personal aides at the Palace, but after I said a few critical words about the Royal Family changing Meghan, they cut me off.
‘Those numbers were disconnected, they no longer work. I have no way of contacting my daughter,’ he says.
‘It’s her birthday on August 4 and I want to send her a card. But if I send a birthday card to Kensington Palace, or wherever she’s living now, it’ll just be one among thousands. She’ll probably never see it.
‘I thought about sending it by Priority Mail Express, but the Palace would probably just soak it in water for three days to make sure it doesn’t explode.’
And he claimed:
He fears Meghan will never let him see any future grandchildren;
Meghan might be better off if he were to die: ‘Everyone would be filled with sympathy for her’;
Frustration at the ‘mixed messages’ he has received, with Harry and Meghan telling him not to apologise for the staged paparazzi pictures debacle, just hours before a Palace aide called and offered to help him ‘make an apology’;
Reports that he faked a heart attack and is an alcoholic are false.
Speaking at his modest $695 (£500)-a-month rental home overlooking the Pacific in the sleepy Mexican town of Rosarito – a 30-minute drive from the US border – Mr Markle invited the MoS to share cold, non-alcoholic, drinks on his sunny patio as he spoke candidly of the rift with his daughter that he fears may never heal, before adding ominously: ‘I won’t be silenced.’
He is soft-spoken but brutally honest. He answers every question thoughtfully, veering between sadness at the ‘loss’ of his daughter to flashes of anger at the ‘confusing’ way he has been treated by the Palace.
Aged 74 and 6ft 4in tall, he says his body ‘isn’t what it used to be’ and winces as he rises from his chair, complaining that years of hard graft hanging heavy stage lights for TV shows have left him with bad knees and arthritis.
He also suffers from heart problems and says, astonishingly, that it might be better for his daughter if he died: ‘It’s lucky I’m still alive.
‘The men in my family rarely live over 80 so I’d be surprised if I had another ten years. I could die tomorrow.
Meghan was sent to exclusive private schools from kindergarten onwards and her father paid for her $30,000 (£23,000)-a-year tuition at Northwestern University, Illinois, with $750,000 winnings from a lottery.
He funded a teenage Meghan’s expensive holidays abroad, including a visit to Britain, where she was photographed outside Buckingham Palace.
A proud man, he says he has never asked his daughter for a penny, despite suffering financial setbacks over the years and losing the vast majority of his lottery winnings in a bad business deal. He now supports himself on his pension and social security payments.
His longing for a reconciliation is heartfelt: ‘Meghan is everything to me. I love her and I always will.’