Prince Harry ‘constantly berated’ by Royal Family over Meghan’s father leaks

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The Duchess of Sussex and former   communication secretary, Jason Knauf (PA)
The Duchess of Sussex and former communication secretary, Jason Knauf (PA)

The Duchess of Sussex wrote her letter to her father to defend Prince Harry from “constant berating” by the Royal Family, she told her close aide.

In newly-released messages, Meghan complained that Prince Charles and other senior Royals did not understand her struggles in managing her wayward father, Thomas Markle.

She said the Royal Family wanted her to fly to Mexico for a face-to-face showdown with her father in summer 2018, but she refused knowing it would spark a “media frenzy” and resolved to send a handwritten letter instead.

In messages to her former communication secretary, Jason Knauf, Meghan said Harry had been “endlessly explaining the situation” but said his family “seem to forget the context”.

The messages have been publicly disclosed after a three-day hearing at the Court of Appeal in Meghan’s privacy battle with the publishers of the Mail on Sunday.

She penned a five-page letter to Mr Markle in August 2018, and sent a draft to Mr Knauf so that he could offer his advice.

“I share this with you in confidence – the letter itself and its contents”, she told the senior Royal aide.

“My plan is to write it by hand and fedex it to who will then mail it to my father. My thinking behind this is unlike a text or email it can’t be forwarded or cut and pasted to only share one small portion. It does also not open the door for a conversation.”

Explaining the reason for the letter, Meghan wrote: “The catalyst for my doing this is seeing how much pain this is causing H. Even after a week with his dad 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?’

“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’s 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.

“Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice but please do let me know if anything stands out for you as a liability. Eager to hear your thoughts.”

Mr Knauf, who was in Tonga at the time, replied to say the letter was “very strong – enough emotion to be authentic, but all in resigned sadness rather than anger.

“Also is factually focussed in a way that does not read like a legal filing – that is not easy to do.”

Meghan told the aide not to share it with another member of her staff, before discussing arrangements for it to be sent to Mr Markle in Mexico without being intercepted.

“Honestly Jason I feel fantastic”, she added.

“Cathartic and real and honest and factual. And if he leaks it then that’s on his conscious(sic) but at least the world will know the truth. Words I could never voice publicly.”

Associated Newspapers Ltd, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, is bidding to revive their privacy battle with the Duchess.

She sued the media organisation and was handed victory by a judge in February, when he ruled the publishing of extracts of the letter was “unlawful” and a breach of privacy.

ANL argues Mr Knauf’s new evidence shows that Meghan knew the letter may be leaked to the media when she sent it, alleging that diminishes her expectation of privacy and insisting the case should go to a full trial.

Judges are due to rule on the appeal at a later date.

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