Meghan avoids public mention of estranged dad on Father's Day as she praises those who 'lead with love'

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·Royal Correspondent
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Watch: ‘It’s a love story’: Meghan Markle speaks about her new book and Harry

Meghan Markle shared a Father's Day message to her husband and fathers who "lead with love", but appeared to avoid mention of her own father.

Meghan, 39, has been estranged from her father Thomas Markle Snr for some time, after a string of events around the time she married Prince Harry.

Markle Snr was caught staging paparazzi photographs in the lead up to Harry and Meghan's royal wedding, but was still set to walk his daughter down the aisle in May 2018.

However he had a heart attack and subsequently could not fly to the UK. Since then he has done a series of interviews with various broadcasters, accusing Meghan of letting him down and asking them to get in touch with him.

To tie in with Father's Day this year, Meghan was interviewed by network radio station NPR in the US, about her children's book The Bench, which started as a poem written for Prince Harry for his first Father's Day in 2019, after the birth of Archie. 

Writing on their Archewell website after the interview aired, Meghan added: "When I first wrote these words — as a Father’s Day poem to my husband shortly after the birth of our first child, Archie — I never anticipated they would become something enjoyed in the homes of families around the world. 

"My words echoed what I was witnessing at the time — the love I watched blossom between my husband and our baby boy, and the both simple and sacrosanct moments I imagined they would have for years to come. As I put pen to paper then, I felt it was uniquely our story that I was capturing."

Thomas Markle Snr appeared on GMB to give his side of the story. (GMB)
Thomas Markle Snr has previously appeared on GMB to give his side of the story about the relationship with his daughter. (GMB)

She said: "The tenderness of the relationship between Harry and Archie, also role-modeled by millions of other families around the world, reveals, in its subtle quietude, that the moments of being as much as in doing, matter. They illustrate that when we teach our sons that there is strength in vulnerability, power in kindness, and beauty in showing emotion, that we create the basis for a more equitable world for everyone — not simply for boys and men but for women and girls.

"On this Father’s Day, we celebrate you: those who lead by example, who lead with love, and who recognise that the dad you are for your son today, defines the man he becomes tomorrow."

Although it never went to trial, Markle Snr made clear his willingness to testify against his daughter when she took the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline to court over a letter she wrote to him which they published extracts of in 2019.

Meghan ended up winning her claims of breach of privacy and copyright by summary judgement and so the case did not progress to trial, although the publishers Associated Newspapers Ltd, are appealing the verdict.

Meghan spoke about the book, which was released on 8 June and became a New York Times bestseller, on NPR, alongside the illustrator Christian Robinson on Sunday.

She said there were "nuggets" included in the book, like Princess Diana's favourite flowers, Forget-me-nots.

However she did not talk about her own relationship with her father.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: A illustration of a father and son are seen inside a copy of Meghan Markle's book
Meghan's book The Bench includes illustrations of Harry and Archie. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Read more: What will Harry and Meghan do when they go back to work?

With no active Instagram or Twitter accounts, neither she or Harry shared messages for their fathers on Sunday, nor did they use their Archewell website, which they have previously done to give updates on their children, Archie and Lilibet.

Senior royals like the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William, did share messages for Father's Day, and William was spotted out in Sandringham with two of his children, George and Charlotte, as they started a half marathon race through the Queen's estate.

Harry's cousin Eugenie also avoided mentioning her own father on Sunday, choosing to share new pictures of her husband Jack Brooksbank with their son August.

Her father Prince Andrew has had to step back from royal duties following a disastrous interview in November 2019 with BBC Newsnight about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Eugenie has shared Father's Day and birthday posts about her father since then, but chose not to in 2021.

Meghan's interview was recorded before the birth of their daughter Lilibet on 4 June. The couple is currently on parental leave, expected to last about five months in line with the offer they give their employees at Archewell.

Watch: What you need to know about Meghan's book

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