Meghan Markle Had Advice From Two 'Senior' Royals Over Private Letter to Father

Meghan Markle wrote a bombshell letter to her father after she "sought advice from two senior members of the royal family" about media coverage.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing The Mail on Sunday for publishing the letter, in which she called Thomas Markle Snr. a liar.

The newspaper has argued the handwritten note was intended to be leaked as part of a media strategy to get her story out discreetly.

Now her legal team have told the High Court in London she wrote the letter after taking the advice of two senior royals because she "wanted to follow protocol."

The filing, seen by Newsweek, reads: "[Meghan's] level of distress surrounding the form, frequency and content of the media coverage concerning her father, and as the newest member of the Royal Family who wanted to follow protocol, [Meghan] sought advice from two senior members of the Royal Family on how best to address the situation.

"In accordance with the advice that she had received from the two members of the Royal Family, [Meghan] decided (in about the first week of August 2018) to write a private letter to her father in an attempt to get him to stop talking to the press."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Remembrance
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Los Angeles National Cemetery to commemorate Remembrance Sunday, when Britain mourns its war dead, on November 8, 2020. Lee Morgan

Mail on Sunday claimed this week she had help writing the letter from the Kensington Palace press secretary, Jason Knauf, because it was part of a media strategy.

The court filings reveal she did send him a draft and he provided feedback, though Meghan's lawyers insist he did not write the note.

They also say the letter was never intended to be published and was not part of any strategy.

The filing reads: "Once it had been decided that [Meghan] would write to her father, [Meghan] informed Mr. Knauf.

"Mr. Knauf was not only a trusted advisor, who had spoken to [Meghan's] father repeatedly, particularly in the lead-up to the wedding, and was aware of the state of his health, but he was also responsible for reporting (as was required by palace protocol) the fact that [Meghan] was going to write to her father to more senior people in the Royal households, all of whom had to be kept apprised of any public-facing issues (the media spectacle surrounding Mr. Markle being one such issue)."

It adds: "[Meghan] created the Electronic Draft over a period of several weeks in August 2018 on the 'notes' application of her iPhone, spending many hours working on that Draft.

"She shared a draft of that Draft with her husband and Mr. Knauf for support, as this was a deeply painful process that they lived through with her.

"In the course of a discussion between them, Mr. Knauf provided feedback on that draft but no actual wording, as this was a personal letter from daughter to father.

"The comments Mr. Knauf provided were in the form of "general ideas" as opposed to actual wording.

"For the avoidance of doubt neither Mr. Knauf (nor anybody else) created any part of the Electronic Draft or the Letter.

"[Meghan], and [Meghan] alone, created the Electronic Draft, which she then transcribed by hand to her father as the Letter."

After the letter was sent in August 2018, Markle Snr. initially kept it private but handed it to Mail on Sunday after it was referenced in interviews given by five of Meghan's friends to People.

He said the friends misrepresented its contents and attacked him unfairly in the magazine's coverage. Mail on Sunday published extensive extracts alongside an interview in which he expressed his hurt at the contents.

He told the newspaper: "I thought it would be an olive branch. Instead, it was a dagger to the heart."

He added: "I was expecting something that would be a pathway to reconciliation. Instead, it was deeply hurtful.

"I was so devastated I couldn't show it to anyone and never would have had it not been for the events of last week."

The court filing by Meghan's lawyers reads: "As is clear from the above, the genesis of, reasons for and intended use of the Letter was the complete opposite of a ' media strategy'.

"It was a private letter written and sent by [Meghan] to her father, on the advice of senior members of the Royal Family, in an attempt to protect her family, including her new family members, from further media intrusion and embarrassment to the Institution.

"The Defendant's contentions to the contrary, which are wholly speculative and unsubstantiated by any evidence, are deeply offensive to the Claimant and will be relied on in substantial aggravation of damages."