Meghan Markle boards Canadian seaplane after fleeing UK

Meghan Markle broke cover for the first time on Tuesday leaving the palatial $14million Canadian home where she has been holed up since last week to visit a women’s shelter in Canada’s poorest neighborhood.  

The Duchess of Sussex left the Vancouver Island ocean-side mansion shortly before 10am local time and arrived at Victoria Harbour Airport around 20 minutes later, where she appeared happy and relaxed as she laughed with her security team before boarding a seaplane for the mainland.

She then made a surprise visit to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center in Vancouver to ‘offer support’ and to ‘boost the staff’s spirits’. 

A staff member said they only became aware of the visit when Meghan arrived and that she spent time meeting with managers.

The Duchess is understood to have visited the center’s shelter. It provides counselling, hot meals, and basic needs for women and children in need.

‘She asked what the women would need in terms of support. It was a nice meeting,’ the staff member said.

It’s not clear whether the Duchess is planning a long-running association with the center.

The women’s shelter is situated in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Canada on Vancouver’s Eastside. It is the epicenter of the country’s drug overdose crisis that has claimed more that 13,000 lives since January 2016 

Eight-month-old son Archie was nowhere to be seen and Meghan, accompanied by members of her security detail, did not appear to take luggage with her as she flew to Vancouver.

Meghan pulled a fur-lined hood over her head and wore knee-high brown boots to protect herself from snow flurries as she boarded the plane. 

A smiling Meghan Markle was spotted Tuesday leaving the $14million Vancouver Island home where she and Prince Harry stayed over the holidays with Archie. She has been staying in the mansion since last week, but Archie was nowhere to be seen Tuesday

A smiling Meghan Markle was spotted Tuesday leaving the $14million Vancouver Island home where she and Prince Harry stayed over the holidays with Archie. She has been staying in the mansion since last week, but Archie was nowhere to be seen Tuesday

A smiling Meghan Markle was spotted Tuesday leaving the $14million Vancouver Island home where she and Prince Harry stayed over the holidays with Archie. She has been staying in the mansion since last week, but Archie was nowhere to be seen Tuesday

The Duchess pulled a fur-lined hood over her head and wore knee-high brown boots as she boarded a small seaplane to head to the mainland

The Duchess pulled a fur-lined hood over her head and wore knee-high brown boots as she boarded a small seaplane to head to the mainland

The Duchess pulled a fur-lined hood over her head and wore knee-high brown boots as she boarded a small seaplane to head to the mainland

The Duchess pulled a fur-lined hood over her head and wore knee-high brown boots as she boarded a small seaplane to head to the mainland

The Duchess pulled a fur-lined hood over her head and wore knee-high brown boots as she boarded a small seaplane to head to the mainland. She was accompanied by members of her security detail and did not appear to take luggage

This is the Duchess of Sussex's first sighting since news of 'Megxit' broke last week. She was seen boarding a small seaplane from Victoria Harbour Airport to the mainland

This is the Duchess of Sussex's first sighting since news of 'Megxit' broke last week. She was seen boarding a small seaplane from Victoria Harbour Airport to the mainland

This is the Duchess of Sussex’s first sighting since news of ‘Megxit’ broke last week. She was seen boarding a small seaplane from Victoria Harbour Airport to the mainland 

Markle vs Markle: Meghan’s father set to be star witness against her in High Court showdown 

Thomas Markle, the estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex, is expected to be called as a key witness for the defence in a court case she has brought against a newspaper.

Mr Markle, 75, has given lawyers previously unseen text messages sent in the build-up to Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry that reveal the breakdown of the relationship between father and daughter.

Some of the messages were detailed yesterday in defence papers filed at the High Court in London.

The documents say that after Mr Markle messaged his daughter saying he couldn’t come to her wedding because he had been rushed to hospital for emergency heart surgery and told not to fly on health grounds, he received a text that appeared to be from Prince Harry.

The message admonished him, accused him of causing hurt to his daughter and did not ask about his health. It left Mr Markle ‘deeply hurt’.

In return, Mr Markle wrote: ‘I’ve done nothing to hurt you Meghan or anyone else … I’m sorry my heart attack is … any inconvenience for you.’ 

The Duchess of Sussex launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday last year after it published extracts of a letter she wrote to her father in August 2018.

Meghan, 38, has accused the newspaper – the sister paper of the Daily Mail – of breaching her privacy, her data protection rights and her copyright when it published extracts.

The MoS filed its defence to her case at the High Court in London yesterday. It denied her claims and argued there was a ‘huge and legitimate public interest’ in the Royal Family, including its ‘personal and family relationships’. 

Scroll down for full story. 

It is the first time she has been positively spotted since she flew back to British Columbia last week, although there have been unconfirmed reports of her driving into the nearby town of Sidney by the Sea and going to Victoria International Airport. 

She made her move as the Canadian Navy moored a vessel just a quarter mile out to sea off Mille Fleurs, the home where her family spent the holidays and where she has been staying in since she hurriedly left London.

The coastal defense vessel Brandon moved into place in Patricia Bay on Monday.

But Canadian Navy spokeswoman Lt. Chelsea Dubeau said the mooring so close to Meghan’s temporary home was ‘coincidence,’ and the Brandon, she said, was in the middle of sea trials.

‘Sometimes during sea trials they moor to conduct exercises on board, either on or around the ship,’ Dubeau told DailyMail.com.

The Duchess opted to recycle her wardrobe, wearing a $399 Barbour coat, first worn by her in March 2017 and paired it with a $195 Cuyana bag she wore to Wimbledon in June 2019.  She wore Le Chameau boots retailing for $493.36. 

Meghan has been holed up in Mille Fleurs since Friday after leaving husband Prince Harry in Britain to work out the terms for the couple quitting as senior members of the Royal Family.

She was expected to phone into discussions between Harry, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William on Monday but in the end left it all to her husband to finalise the details.

Harry is due to fly back to Canada — where the couple stayed for six weeks in December and the New Year — later this week when the couple will start out on their new life. His last royal duty will be to appear at the draw for the Rugby League World Cup at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

The Duchess of Sussex today denied she was barred from ‘dialing in’ to the landmark Sandringham summit from Canada as senior royals discussed her stepping down from the Royal Family with Prince Harry.   

The Duchess opted to recycle her wardrobe, wearing a $399 Barbour coat, first worn by her in March 2017 and paired it with a $195 Cuyana bag she wore to Wimbledon in June 2019. She wore Le Chameau boots retailing for $493.36

The Duchess opted to recycle her wardrobe, wearing a $399 Barbour coat, first worn by her in March 2017 and paired it with a $195 Cuyana bag she wore to Wimbledon in June 2019. She wore Le Chameau boots retailing for $493.36

Meghan kept her hood of her $399 Barbour coat down to shield herself from the snow as she made her way to the plane

Meghan kept her hood of her $399 Barbour coat down to shield herself from the snow as she made her way to the plane

The Duchess opted to recycle her wardrobe, wearing a $399 Barbour coat, first worn by her in March 2017 and paired it with a $195 Cuyana bag she wore to Wimbledon in June 2019. She wore Le Chameau boots retailing for $493.36

Meghan was expected to phone into discussions between Harry, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William on Monday but in the end left it all to her husband to finalize the details

Meghan was expected to phone into discussions between Harry, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William on Monday but in the end left it all to her husband to finalize the details

Meghan was expected to phone into discussions between Harry, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William on Monday but in the end left it all to her husband to finalize the details

The Duchess sped 22 miles from the Vancouver Island ocean-side mansion to Victoria Harbour Airport where she boarded a Whistler Air seaplane for the mainland

The Duchess sped 22 miles from the Vancouver Island ocean-side mansion to Victoria Harbour Airport where she boarded a Whistler Air seaplane for the mainland

The Duchess sped 22 miles from the Vancouver Island ocean-side mansion to Victoria Harbour Airport where she boarded a Whistler Air seaplane for the mainland

Meghan jetted back to Canada after just three days in the UK to reunite with Archie, who she left in the care of a nanny and best friend Jessica Mulroney

Meghan jetted back to Canada after just three days in the UK to reunite with Archie, who she left in the care of a nanny and best friend Jessica Mulroney

Meghan jetted back to Canada after just three days in the UK to reunite with Archie, who she left in the care of a nanny and best friend Jessica Mulroney

The couple’s Kensington Palace spokesman insisted Meghan was not shut out of the discussion and just left it to her husband, saying: ‘In the end, the Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the Duchess to join’.

It comes as the Sussex team continues to negotiate an abdication deal on money, titles and establishing their international commercial brand. 

Meanwhile it was also revealed that the Queen allowed Harry and Meghan to quit as senior Royals following a private heart-to-heart with her grandson at yesterday’s crisis summit.

After a family meeting at Sandringham, Her Majesty released a historic and emotionally-charged statement regretting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to split their time between Canada and the UK as they wind down their Royal duties.

Meghan seemed relaxed and happy as she walked toward the plane that had other paying customers on board

Meghan seemed relaxed and happy as she walked toward the plane that had other paying customers on board

Meghan seemed relaxed and happy as she walked toward the plane that had other paying customers on board 

Meghan seemed relaxed as she chatted to a staff member while walking to the plane

Meghan seemed relaxed as she chatted to a staff member while walking to the plane

Meghan boarded a plane that appeared to have other paying customers on board

Meghan boarded a plane that appeared to have other paying customers on board

It is the first time Meghan has been positively spotted since she flew back to British Columbia last week, although there have been unconfirmed reports of her driving into the nearby town of Sidney by the Sea and going to Victoria International Airport

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their first Christmas with baby Archie in Mille Fleurs, $14.1 million waterfront mansion near Victoria, British Columbia. She has been staying there since she left the UK last week

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their first Christmas with baby Archie in Mille Fleurs, $14.1 million waterfront mansion near Victoria, British Columbia. She has been staying there since she left the UK last week

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their first Christmas with baby Archie in Mille Fleurs, $14.1 million waterfront mansion near Victoria, British Columbia. She has been staying there since she left the UK last week

The Canadian Navy moored vessel HMCS Brandon just a quarter mile out to sea from the mansion which is owned by a mystery billionaire who refuses to be identified

The Canadian Navy moored vessel HMCS Brandon just a quarter mile out to sea from the mansion which is owned by a mystery billionaire who refuses to be identified

The Canadian Navy moored vessel HMCS Brandon just a quarter mile out to sea from the mansion which is owned by a mystery billionaire who refuses to be identified

The coastal defense vessel Brandon moved into place in Patricia Bay on Monday, near the home where Meghan has been staying since she left the UK last week

The coastal defense vessel Brandon moved into place in Patricia Bay on Monday, near the home where Meghan has been staying since she left the UK last week

The coastal defense vessel Brandon moved into place in Patricia Bay on Monday, near the home where Meghan has been staying since she left the UK last week

The property, which sits on the 830,000sqft Île Gagnon in the Milles Îles River, was built in 2001 and was the marital home of Dion and her late husband René Angélil

The property, which sits on the 830,000sqft Île Gagnon in the Milles Îles River, was built in 2001 and was the marital home of Dion and her late husband René Angélil

Prince Harry is due to fly back to Canada later this week when the couple will start out on their new life after his talks with the Queen to negotiate the terms of their new roles within the royal family 

The ownership of Mille Fleurs, which is hidden from view on a promontory overlooking Patricia Bay, is still clouded in mystery.

Five neighbours, a former colleague of the realtor who last sold the mansion, and a friend of the former owner all told DailyMail.com the current owner is a Russian businessman. Some said he is a billionaire.

Meghan and Harry were introduced to the mystery owner by David Foster, a friend of the owner. Foster’s wife Katherine McPhee was a school friend of the Duchess of Sussex.

And the multi-millionaire has also declined to identify himself voluntarily ahead of new legislation in the Canadian province which will make it compulsory for the owners of properties to be publicly named. 

The Queen (pictured attending church at Sandringham on Sunday), made clear her deep disappointment at Harry and Meghan's decision to quit in a statement released yesterday

The Queen (pictured attending church at Sandringham on Sunday), made clear her deep disappointment at Harry and Meghan's decision to quit in a statement released yesterday

The Queen (pictured attending church at Sandringham on Sunday), made clear her deep disappointment at Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit in a statement released yesterday

The Queen's statement in full Monday evening after a day of showdown talks to decide the futures of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Queen's statement in full Monday evening after a day of showdown talks to decide the futures of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Queen’s statement in full Monday evening after a day of showdown talks to decide the futures of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte boarded a similar seaplane during their Royal Tour of Canada in 2016

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte boarded a similar seaplane during their Royal Tour of Canada in 2016

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte boarded a similar seaplane during their Royal Tour of Canada in 2016

Prince William, Catherine, a younger Prince George and Princess Charlotte were pictured at Victoria Harbour in 2016 walking down the same ramp as Meghan Markle was pictured Tuesday

Prince William, Catherine, a younger Prince George and Princess Charlotte were pictured at Victoria Harbour in 2016 walking down the same ramp as Meghan Markle was pictured Tuesday

Prince William, Catherine, a younger Prince George and Princess Charlotte were pictured at Victoria Harbour in 2016 walking down the same ramp as Meghan Markle was pictured Tuesday 

A realtor involved in the 2014 sale of the home said it was bought by a billionaire who is neither Canadian nor or American for $18 million CAD – $14 million. The buyer’s identity was subject to a non-disclosure agreement, the realtor, who declined to be named, said.

The association of the royal couple with a multi-millionaire – or possibly even a Russian billionaire – who masks his identity comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex find themselves apparently at war with their own family over their decision to move to North America and ‘move towards’ financial independence.

An association with someone who goes to extraordinary lengths to hide their identity will raise questions over judgment as they pursue earning opportunities in their attempt to ‘work towards financial independence.’

Markle vs Markle: Meghan’s father is set to be star witness against her in High Court showdown as devastating texts expose their bitter war of words over her wedding 

Thomas Markle is prepared to give evidence against his own daughter in an extraordinary legal case, it was revealed yesterday.

The estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex is expected to be called as a key witness for the defence in a court case she has brought against a newspaper.

Mr Markle, 75, has given lawyers previously unseen text messages sent in the build-up to Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry that reveal the breakdown of the relationship between father and daughter.

Some of the messages were detailed yesterday in defence papers filed at the High Court in London.

The documents say that after Mr Markle messaged his daughter saying he couldn’t come to her wedding because he had been rushed to hospital for emergency heart surgery and told not to fly on health grounds, he received a text that appeared to be from Prince Harry.

The message admonished him, accused him of causing hurt to his daughter and did not ask about his health. It left Mr Markle ‘deeply hurt’.

In return, Mr Markle wrote: ‘I’ve done nothing to hurt you Meghan or anyone else … I’m sorry my heart attack is … any inconvenience for you.’ 

The estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex is expected to be called as a key witness for the defence in a court case she has brought against a newspaper (pictured: Meghan Markle as a youngster, with her father Thomas Markle)

The estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex is expected to be called as a key witness for the defence in a court case she has brought against a newspaper (pictured: Meghan Markle as a youngster, with her father Thomas Markle)

The estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex is expected to be called as a key witness for the defence in a court case she has brought against a newspaper (pictured: Meghan Markle as a youngster, with her father Thomas Markle)

The Duchess of Sussex launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday last year after it published extracts of a letter she wrote to her father in August 2018.

Meghan, 38, has accused the newspaper – the sister paper of the Daily Mail – of breaching her privacy, her data protection rights and her copyright when it published extracts.

The MoS filed its defence to her case at the High Court in London yesterday. It denied her claims and argued there was a ‘huge and legitimate public interest’ in the Royal Family, including its ‘personal and family relationships’.

The defence papers also said:

  • Thomas Markle only released Meghan’s letter to the world to show it was not the ‘loving’ plea her friends had been making out;
  • He had kept her handwritten note private for months, and only revealed it to expose ‘false’ claims that the duchess had been reaching out to repair their relationship;
  • He only decided to release extracts of the letter to the Press after she had allowed her friends to talk about it first in the US magazine People;
  • That one of Meghan’s best friends, Jessica Mulroney, once intervened to try to fix a ‘favourable’ press article for the duchess;
  • Mr Markle had insisted he made multiple attempts to contact his daughter by phone call and by text message, but received no response;
  • That apart from the August 2018 letter, Mr Markle had not heard from his daughter since he told her he was too ill to attend her wedding. He had never been introduced to her husband Prince Harry, nor met his eight-month-old grandson Archie.

The latest development in the court case has come in a turbulent week which has seen the Queen hold crisis talks about Meghan and Harry’s role in the Royal Family after they announced their wish to step back from their royal duties.

The duchess was last night pictured in Canada for the first time since she returned there following the bombshell ‘Megxit’ statement. She was seen boarding a sea plane from Vancouver Island which appeared to be destined for Whistler ski resort.

Meghan launched her legal action against the MoS last year after it published excerpts of her letter to her father. Mr Markle gave the letter to the newspaper after unnamed friends of the duchess told the People magazine that she had written the ‘loving’ letter in an attempt to repair their relationship.

Lawyers for the newspaper alleged that Meghan had ‘knowingly’ allowed her friends to leak details of the letter to the magazine – effectively that she had helped to breach her own privacy.

If the case goes before a judge, the paper said it would ask for Meghan to be forced to hand over all communications in which she had ’caused or permitted her friends to provide information about her to the media or to seek to influence what is published about her’.

It could lead to the prospect of Meghan coming face-to-face with her father in the High Court.

Mr Markle, a retired Hollywood lighting director who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, has said his daughter cut off all contact with him after her wedding, except for the letter at the centre of the case.

If he were to be called as a witness, he would effectively have to brand his own daughter a liar who had invaded her own privacy. The Sussexes have said they will fund the legal proceedings privately.

Meghan’s wedding week war with her father: Court papers reveal bitter messages that destroyed their relationship 

The devastating breakdown in Meghan Markle‘s relationship with her father was laid bare yesterday in a series of messages between the pair detailed by court papers.

He has handed over previously unseen messages and letters which set out how he made desperate attempts to mend their relationship after heart surgery forced him to miss her wedding.

In one message he accused Prince Harry of treating his heart attack as an ‘inconvenience’, adding: ‘I’ve done nothing to hurt you, Meghan or anyone else.’

In another, he said that Meghan had effectively ‘written me off’. The exchanges between Mr Markle and his daughter were detailed in documents filed to the High Court in London yesterday.

In one message Thomas Markle accused Prince Harry of treating his heart attack as an 'inconvenience', adding: 'I've done nothing to hurt you, Meghan or anyone else.' (pictured: a young Meghan Markle with her father Thomas)

In one message Thomas Markle accused Prince Harry of treating his heart attack as an 'inconvenience', adding: 'I've done nothing to hurt you, Meghan or anyone else.' (pictured: a young Meghan Markle with her father Thomas)

In one message Thomas Markle accused Prince Harry of treating his heart attack as an ‘inconvenience’, adding: ‘I’ve done nothing to hurt you, Meghan or anyone else.’ (pictured: a young Meghan Markle with her father Thomas)

The Duchess of Sussex has launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail’s sister paper, accusing the newspaper of breaching her privacy and her copyright by publishing extracts of a five-page letter she wrote to her father in August 2018. In the letter, Meghan, 38, chastised her father for ignoring her calls and said he had ‘broken her heart into a million pieces’.

Meghan’s legal team has claimed she was ‘shocked and deeply upset’ when her ‘private letter’ to her father was published.

The documents lodged at the court yesterday detail the newspaper’s defence to her allegations. They say Mr Markle, 75, has never met his eight-month-old grandson Archie, nor been introduced to Prince Harry, although they have spoken on the phone.

His only contact with his daughter since her wedding day was the August 2018 letter, in which she accused him of lying about her and inflicting ‘unnecessary and unwarranted pain’ on her and her new husband.

As part of the legal action, Mr Markle has agreed to appear as the newspaper’s key witness, should the case go before a judge later this year.

He has handed over his own medical records and his correspondence with Meghan, which reveals how their relationship broke down in the final fortnight before her wedding.

According to the messages detailed in the defence papers yesterday, Thomas Markle initially sent touching messages to his daughter, which spoke of his excitement about her upcoming wedding – before he told of his devastation when a heart attack forced him to abandon plans to walk her down the aisle. In the messages, he repeatedly told Meghan that he loved her.

Meghan and Prince Harry on their wedding day at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018

Meghan and Prince Harry on their wedding day at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018

Meghan and Prince Harry on their wedding day at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018

But the messages made clear how their relationship began to break down after it was revealed that he had secretly agreed to stage a series of paparazzi-style pictures of himself preparing for the wedding.

In documents lodged at the High Court, defence lawyers said Meghan had shown a disregard for her father’s wellbeing. They said that even after he explained his cardiac condition and that doctors said he couldn’t fly, he was on the receiving end of an admonishment from Harry.

She did not make it clear that he was forced to abandon plans to attend her wedding because of his poor health, and she then ignored his repeated attempts to contact her after the wedding, they alleged.

Lawyers for the Mail on Sunday told the court: ‘If the Claimant [the Duchess of Sussex] had been or was concerned about her father and his welfare, she would not have cut her father, a sick 75-year-old man, out of her life for the perceived sin of speaking to the Press about his daughter who had become a famous royal duchess.’

May 10, 2018

According to the defence papers, Mr Markle texted his daughter to say he had dropped off some flowers at her mother’s house for Mother’s Day. In a touching message, he told Meghan he was excited about trying on some shoes she had bought for him to wear to her wedding. She had also bought him a new suit.

He ended the text with a poignant message that it was ‘past her bedtime’ because of the time difference, adding: ‘I love you.’ He wrote: ‘I look forward to trying on my shoes and see how we look thank you for getting it ready for me its [sic] probably past your bedtime so have a good night I love you Dad.’

May 11 or 12

The news is about to break that Mr Markle had secretly agreed with a photographer to stage a series of paparazzi-style pictures – despite pleas from Prince Harry for the media to leave his future father-in-law alone. At the time, it was reported that CCTV had caught him posing in an internet café for photographs which showed him looking at a news story about his daughter’s romance with the prince.

Kensington Palace had previously issued a warning to publishers to respect his privacy, saying he had been ‘harassed’ by paparazzi. A letter by Prince Harry’s communications secretary Jason Knauf said he had been followed and urged editors not to publish pictures of him. But the Mail on Sunday revealed a series of photographs had been taken with his co-operation in March. Mr Markle, Meghan and Harry spoke on the phone before the story broke.

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018

May 14

Kensington Palace issued a statement in which it confirmed that Mr Markle would not attend the wedding. It said: ‘This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding. She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation.’

The defence papers say that on that day, Mr Markle wrote to his daughter to apologise for the furore over the posed photographs, and offered to make a public apology to both Meghan and Prince Harry. He said he loved her but would not go to her wedding as he wanted to spare her from any further embarrassment.

Prince Harry sent him a message in response, saying he did not need to apologise, and that he should call them. Later that day, Mr Markle suffered chest pains and shortness of breath and was taken to hospital and diagnosed with suspected congestive heart failure.

The following day, the defence papers say that Mr Markle texted Meghan to say he was back in hospital, and she responded, asking him to call her.

May 16

Mr Markle had an emergency operation – an angioplasty to unblock two arteries to his heart.

The defence papers say that on that day, he texted Meghan to tell her about the surgery and said he could not attend the wedding because his doctors would not allow him to fly. He apologised for missing the wedding and said he loved her, and wished her the best, saying he had had surgery.

According to the defence papers, he sent a later message, asking who would walk her down the aisle to give her away, and said he would come if she really needed him. He apologised again for not being there. He told Meghan he loved her and wishes her the best.

In response, he received a text message which he believed was from Prince Harry, which he described as hurtful.

According to the legal documents lodged at the High Court yesterday, it was signed ‘Love M and H’ but did not ask about his emergency heart surgery, or even ask him how he felt. Instead, it accused him of ignoring some 20 phone calls from Meghan.

The court papers said of Thomas Markle: ‘He received a text response signed ‘Love M and H’, but which read as if it was from Prince Harry, (amongst other things) admonishing Mr Markle for talking to the Press and telling him to stop and accusing Mr Markle of causing hurt to his daughter.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after visiting Canada House in London, after their recent stay in Canada on January 7

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after visiting Canada House in London, after their recent stay in Canada on January 7

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after visiting Canada House in London, after their recent stay in Canada on January 7

‘The text did not ask how the surgical procedure had gone or how Mr Markle was or send him good wishes.’ Mr Markle was said to be ‘deeply hurt’ by the tone of the message, and replied curtly.

According to the defence papers, he said: ‘I’ve done nothing to hurt you Meghan or anyone else I know nothing about 20 phone calls. I’m sorry my heart attack is … any inconvenience for you.’ The court papers allege he received no reply and that his daughter did not speak to him again in the final days before her wedding.

In the letter that Meghan later wrote to her father in August 2018, which was published in the Mail on Sunday last year, she wrote: ‘You’ve told the Press that you called me to say you weren’t coming to the wedding – that didn’t happen because you never called.’

She accused him of ignoring her attempts to contact him in the days before the marriage, saying: ‘From my phone alone, I called you over 20 times and you ignored my calls… leaving me in the days before our wedding worried, confused, shocked and absolutely blindsided.’

May 17

Kensington Palace issued a statement from Meghan, saying: ‘Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding.

‘I have always cared for my father and I hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.’

In a statement the following day, Kensington Palace said Meghan had asked Prince Charles to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. It made no reference to her father or his hospital treatment.

May 19 – day of the wedding

Meghan Markle married Prince Harry and formally became part of the Royal Family.

Her mother Doria was at her side and Prince Charles walked her down the aisle.

The defence papers lodged yesterday, said that Mr Markle had insisted he made multiple attempts to contact his daughter by phone call and by text message, but received no response.

When he tried to call, he said his calls were blocked and that he believed she had changed her number without telling him.

Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens on October 31, 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand

Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens on October 31, 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand

Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens on October 31, 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand

Mr Markle said he had no communication from Meghan at all until her letter in August, three months later. Apart from that single letter, the defence papers said he had not heard from his daughter since he told her he was too ill to attend her wedding. He had never been introduced to her husband Prince Harry, nor met his eight-month-old grandson Archie.

He continued to try to make contact, and texted her in November 2018, according to the defence papers. The message read: ‘I want to reach out to you or try to reach out to you one more time.

‘You apparently have just written me off and now it’s telling me I guess for the rest of my life?’ He has received no response, the legal papers said. 

Thomas Markle ‘gave Meghan’s letter to the Mail on Sunday after she let friends make false claims about their relationship to US magazine’  

 by Sam Greenhill for the Daily Mail 

Thomas Markle released a letter from his daughter Meghan to the world to show it was not the ‘loving’ plea her friends had been making out, court documents said yesterday.

He kept her handwritten note private for months, and only revealed it to expose ‘false’ claims that the duchess had been trying to repair their relationship.

The letter – from August 2018 in the wake of her wedding to Prince Harry – was an ‘attack’ on Mr Markle and signalled the ‘end of the relationship’ between father and daughter, the court papers said.

According to defence papers filed at the High Court yesterday on behalf of The Mail on Sunday, the Duchess of Sussex‘s estranged father only decided to release extracts of the letter to the Press after she had allowed her friends to talk about it first.

Thomas Markle kept her handwritten note private for months, and only revealed it to expose 'false' claims that the duchess had been trying to repair their relationship (pictured: a young Meghan with her father)

Thomas Markle kept her handwritten note private for months, and only revealed it to expose 'false' claims that the duchess had been trying to repair their relationship (pictured: a young Meghan with her father)

Thomas Markle kept her handwritten note private for months, and only revealed it to expose ‘false’ claims that the duchess had been trying to repair their relationship (pictured: a young Meghan with her father)

The newspaper’s documents stated that Meghan ‘knowingly’ allowed her friends to leak details of the letter to the media. She ’caused or permitted’ five close friends to speak anonymously to the US magazine People to attack Thomas Markle, the court papers said.

The result was a bombshell interview published on February 6, 2019, in the celebrity weekly headlined: ‘Her best friends break their silence’ and ‘The truth about Meghan’.

It quoted the Duchess of Sussex’s friends saying she had written an impassioned plea to her estranged father to stop ‘victimising’ her in the media. They said she had been so upset by his repeated public attacks on her and Prince Harry that she had sent the letter begging him to sort out their differences privately.

The People interview said Meghan had written to Mr Markle: ‘Dad, I’m so heartbroken, I love you, I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship’.

But this article gave a ‘one-sided’ and ‘false’ account of the situation and of her letter, yesterday’s defence papers said.

Far from being ‘a loving letter aimed at repairing their relationship… her letter was an attack on Mr Markle. Amongst other things, she accused him of breaking her heart, manufacturing pain, being paranoid, being ridiculed, fabricating stories, of attacking Prince Harry and continually lying’.

Among the false claims, it was wrongly said that Mr Markle had refused to get in the airport car to attend the royal wedding, according to the court papers.

The People interview also said that Mr Markle had ‘never called… never texted’, and that he had falsely claimed that he could not reach his daughter. This was, according to the Mail on Sunday’s defence, untrue.

Following the wedding, Mr Markle had tried to contact Meghan by phone and text, but had received no response until the letter, it was said.

‘Except for the receipt of the letter, Mr Markle had not heard from his daughter since he wrote to tell her he was too ill to attend her wedding, nor has he ever been introduced to or met Prince Harry or their son, his grandson,’ the defence document said.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the Christmas Day Church service at Sandringham in 2018

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the Christmas Day Church service at Sandringham in 2018

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the Christmas Day Church service at Sandringham in 2018

Mr Markle was therefore entitled to set the record straight by allowing the British newspaper to publish extracts of the letter four days later, said the defence document, which added that he released it ‘in direct response to the publication of the People interview’. It said: ‘Thomas Markle had a weighty right to tell his version of what had happened between himself and his daughter including the contents of the letter. She did not suggest that they try to repair their relationship.

‘On the contrary, the final words of the letter, ‘I ask for nothing other than peace, and I wish the same for you’ suggested that their relationship was at an end, and Mr Markle understood those words to signal the end of the relationship.’

The court filing insisted the Duchess of Sussex had never denied that she gave her consent to People magazine’s five sources, described by the weekly – which has 40million readers in the US alone – as an ‘intensely loyal circle of close friends’. The defence document said that Meghan ‘knowingly caused or permitted information’ about her relationship with her father and a description of the letter’s contents to enter the public domain.

The meaning and effect of the ‘one-sided and/or misleading’ account in the People ‘was to suggest Mr Markle had made false claims about his dealings with his daughter’.

The Mail on Sunday’s defence also said: ‘The People interview stated that Mr Markle had responded to the letter with a letter of his own in which he asked for a ‘photo op’ with [Meghan], with the implicit suggestion that he was seeking to make money from a photograph of him with [her]. This was false.

‘Mr Markle had in fact written, ‘I wish we could get together and take a photo for the whole world to see. If you and Harry don’t like me? Fake it for one photo and maybe some of the Press will finally shut up!’. None of Mr Markle’s account of events or feelings about those events was mentioned in the People interview.’

The defence lawyers said it was apparent from Meghan’s neat handwriting and immaculate presentation of the letter that she anticipated it being read by others or possibly disclosed to the media. 

Meghan Markle’s closest confidante Jessica Mulroney ‘tried to fix a press article’ for the Duchess

by Sam Greenhill for the Daily Mail  

One of Meghan’s best friends once intervened to try to fix a ‘favourable’ press article for the Duchess of Sussex, it has been claimed.

Canadian fashion stylist Jessica Mulroney tried to ‘influence’ an interview that former Meghan adviser Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne had granted the Mail on Sunday.

The claim is part of the newspaper’s case that the duchess was well versed in the art of attempting to manipulate what was written about her.

She has complained about her father allowing parts of a letter she wrote to him to be published in the Mail on Sunday.

Jessica Mulroney and actress Meghan Markle attends the Instagram Dinner held at the MARS Discovery District on May 31, 2016 in Toronto, Canada

Jessica Mulroney and actress Meghan Markle attends the Instagram Dinner held at the MARS Discovery District on May 31, 2016 in Toronto, Canada

Jessica Mulroney and actress Meghan Markle attends the Instagram Dinner held at the MARS Discovery District on May 31, 2016 in Toronto, Canada

But the paper says Thomas Markle only did so after Meghan had colluded in an article with People magazine. Mrs Mulroney’s intervention was given as an example of Meghan using friends to influence what was written about her.

The duchess and her style guru are said to have been in touch after Kensington Palace was informed by the Mail on Sunday about its interview with Mrs Nelthorpe-Cowne, a former friend and adviser.

The court papers say Meghan ’caused or permitted a close friend to seek to influence what is published about her in the media’. They said Mrs Mulroney tried to intervene in relation to the interview.

A Mail on Sunday journalist had notified the Palace about the contents of the story. The paper’s lawyers suggest Meghan then passed this message on to Mrs Mulroney ‘with a request that she intervene to try to ensure that a more favourable article was published’.

Later that day – April 7, 2018 – Mrs Mulroney wrote to Mrs Nelthorpe-Cowne ‘putting pressure on her to withdraw or change statements’, it was claimed.

Defence lawyers stated they would seek ‘disclosure’ of all of Meghan’s communications relating to this intervention and any other occasions in which she had permitted her friends to provide information to the media to influence what is published about her.

Mrs Mulroney, the daughter-in-law of former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney, met Meghan while working on the TV drama Suits. Known as ‘Toronto’s answer to Gwyneth Paltrow’, she is a social media star and is married to a friend of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. 

The duchess and her style guru are said to have been in touch after Kensington Palace was informed by the Mail on Sunday about its interview with Mrs Nelthorpe-Cowne (pictured), a former friend and adviser

The duchess and her style guru are said to have been in touch after Kensington Palace was informed by the Mail on Sunday about its interview with Mrs Nelthorpe-Cowne (pictured), a former friend and adviser

The duchess and her style guru are said to have been in touch after Kensington Palace was informed by the Mail on Sunday about its interview with Mrs Nelthorpe-Cowne (pictured), a former friend and adviser

The real reason for Megxit? There is ‘bad blood’ in the Firm and the divisions spread wider than Princes William and Harry, say friends 

by Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent for The Daily Mail

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt they had to step back from their official roles because of ‘bad blood’ in the Royal Family, it was claimed yesterday.

A friend of the couple said their decision to stand down as senior royals became ‘inevitable’ as they felt increasingly ostracised.

The source spoke to US magazine People, which has previously run a story defending Meghan which it said came from five of her close friends.

‘This is not how they wanted to handle this but Meghan and Harry’s hand was forced,’ the magazine quoted a friend as saying yesterday. 

‘There is so much bad blood in that family – it’s toxic.’

The source added: ‘If relationships had been better, things would have been different.’

The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry (centre right) was offended by his elder brother Prince William (centr left with wife Kate) warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan (right)

The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry (centre right) was offended by his elder brother Prince William (centr left with wife Kate) warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan (right)

The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry (centre right) was offended by his elder brother Prince William (centr left with wife Kate) warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan (right)

The friend gives credence to the claim that Harry was offended by his elder brother Prince William warning him about moving too fast in his relationship with actress Meghan.

They say the duchess was also hurt by ‘negative press’ and what she considered was her ‘outsider status as a bi-racial American’. 

The source added: ‘Meghan and Harry didn’t feel they got enough comfort or solace from them [the royals].’

It came as palace aides were locked in meetings yesterday thrashing out the fine detail of Harry and Meghan’s ‘exit package’ from the Royal Family.

Members of the three main royal households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – plus the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private office, are attempting to come up with a proposition that satisfies the couple by the end of the week if possible.

Following Monday’s historic Sandringham summit the Queen, who has been deeply hurt by recent events, issued a statement capitulating to her grandson’s demands to allow him and Meghan to step down as senior working royals.

She made clear that she, Prince Charles and William would have preferred them to stay.

But given the couple’s strength of feeling about being allowed to carve out a ‘financially independent’ life for themselves, albeit one that retains many of their royal privileges, the Queen has agreed to allow the couple to divide their time between Canada and the UK and asked staff to work ‘at pace’ at resolving the situation.

Those involved include the four main private secretaries (also known as the chiefs of staff): Sir Edward Young for the Queen; Clive Alderton for Charles; Simon Case for William; and Harry’s new appointment, Fiona Mcilwham.

The biggest stumbling blocks, say insiders, are funding, residency, security, and how the couple intend to make their own living.

Aides are keen to try to limit any attempt by Harry and Meghan to commercialise the monarchy.

Brand experts say the couple’s star power could see them earn £400million over the next few years.

Aides have been instructed not to talk about the discussions, but they did break their purdah to confirm the Daily Mail’s story yesterday that Meghan did not take part in the summit at Sandringham as planned.

At the weekend aides said it was likely she would be ‘dialling in’ from Canada in order to take part.

But yesterday they issued a brief statement which said: ‘The Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the duchess to join.’

The Mail has been told the decision was made because of security fears over who could be listening in to the phone call. 

It is also understood the Sussexes feel let down by the wider ‘institution’ of the monarchy, as opposed to the much talked-about rift between Harry and William.

A source said: ‘It’s bigger than any issue with one individual, this is about them feeling let down by the institution and the structure around it.

‘They want to carve out a new model. It’s much bigger and more complex than falling out with any one particular person.’

Today William and Kate will be in seen in public together for the first time since the royal crisis erupted as they visit a number of community projects in Bradford.

Tomorrow Harry will undertake an engagement at Buckingham Palace in front of the world’s press as he takes part in the official draw for the Rugby League World Cup, which will be hosted in the UK next year.

It will be his last engagement as a senior member of the Royal Family – and could be his last ever on behalf of the Queen if his demand to still undertake occasional duties on her behalf while pursuing commercial endeavours is not granted.

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