Meghan Markle's estranged father Thomas says royal baby news 'made him think of holding her as a newborn'

Nick Charity
Thomas Markle said he was proud to hear news of Meghan's pregnancy: PA/Reuters

Meghan Markle's father Thomas has said hearing his daughter's baby news on the radio instantly brought back memories of holding her as a newborn.

The Duchess of Sussex's estranged father heard the news of her pregnancy when a newsflash broke on his favourite show on California's KABC Talk Radio.

The 74-year-old told of his "overwhelming" reaction to the news in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.

"The first thing I thought about was holding Meghan in my arms as a newborn 37 years ago," he said.

"I thought, 'My baby is having a baby. It was a very proud moment."

Meghan Markle wearing Princess Diana's bracelet on the first day in Sydney (AFP/Getty Images)

He added: "When they handed her to me and I held her in my arms for the first time it was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful baby. Meghan winked at me and I fell in love and have never stopped loving her from that day forward."

The father regaled how Meghan was born in the early hours of August 4, 1981, at Canoga Park hospital in suburban Los Angeles, and said meeting her for the first time was "love at first sight".

He has reportedly not seen his daughter since she married Prince Harry in May, but wants to play a role in his grandchild's life.

He was reportedly told the news shortly before the rest of the world by his ex-wife, Meghan's mother Doria Ragland.

In a statement released by Kensington Palace on Monday, Ms Ragland said she was "very happy about this lovely news" and "looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild".

Mr Markle has been distanced from the royal family since a scandal over taking staged publicity pictures.

According to the Mail he has written a letter to his daughter, saying she would "make a great mother" because - despite their recent "difficulties" - he believed she remained "a very loving and compassionate woman".

Two years ago, Meghan paid a touching tribute to her dad in a public post on Father's Day.

She wrote: "Happy Father's Day, daddy. I'm still your buckaroo and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world.

"Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films & club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes and giving me the signature Markle nose. I love you."