Meghan Markle Accuses Mail on Sunday of 'Humiliating' Father, Lawyers Blame Newspaper for Him Missing Royal Wedding

Meghan Markle believes the Mail on Sunday "humiliated" her father and lawyers claim he missed her wedding because of "public shaming" by the newspaper, according to court documents.

Thomas Markle, 75, was due to fly to Britain for the Windsor Castle ceremony in May 2018 and had been asked to walk her down the aisle.

However, he suffered a heart attack just days before the ceremony and pulled out, leaving Prince Charles to perform the role in his place.

Lawyers for the Duchess of Sussex claimed Friday it was a story in the Mail on Sunday exposing the fact her father had staged paparazzi pictures for money that led to him missing her big day.

Documents submitted to the High Court in London do not accuse the newspaper of causing Thomas Markle's "cardiac problems" but make clear that Meghan is arguing it was the tabloid rather than his health that she felt was to blame.

The submission by her barrister David Sherborne QC reads: "Following this public shaming by the [Mail on Sunday], Mr Markle suffered cardiac problems on 14 May, an event which [Meghan] only discovered because her father issued a public statement to that effect through the American tabloid website [TMZ]."

The court papers add: "Even after the wedding, and her father's failure to attend as a result of his shaming, the [Mail on Sunday] continued to publish further articles, stirring up issues between [Meghan] and her father."

The court filing also confirms Meghan asked her father to walk her down the aisle, a job which fell to Prince Charles when Thomas Markle could not attend.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Wedding Carriage
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their procession at their Windsor Castle wedding, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony. Aaron Chown/Getty

The document states: "Mr Markle was due to fly to London to attend the ceremony and had been asked by the Claimant to walk her down the aisle."

The revelations came during the first hearing in Meghan's privacy, copyright and data protection case against the Mail on Sunday.

The court also heard the duchess has still not spoken to her father since he missed her wedding which took place in front of a global TV audience of millions.

The newspaper is attempting to strike out elements of Meghan's case that claim the newspaper was dishonest in its presentation of a story about a private letter she wrote to her father.

The court heard Meghan's team accuse the paper of "harassing, humiliating, manipulating and exploiting" Thomas Markle.

However, Antony White QC, representing the Mail on Sunday, disputed this in its own court submission.

The newspaper's filing reads: "Why is it said that the [Mail on Sunday] caused alarm and distress, or humiliation?

"On what basis is it alleged that the [Mail on Sunday] manipulated or exploited Mr Markle, by whom, when?

"On what basis is it said that the [Mail on Sunday] was 'well aware' of manipulation and

"In this context it appears that [Meghan] has seen fit to put these allegations on the record without having spoken to Mr Markle, verifying these allegations with him or obtaining his consent."

The newspaper published a story in February last year containing details of a private letter Meghan sent her father.

In it Meghan spoke of her anguish at her father's behaviour in the run up to her wedding but her team claim key sections were dishonestly left out of the story to paint her in a bad light.

Sherborne, representing Meghan, told the court: "The manner in which they published the letter is dishonest."

White disputed the allegation and said suggestions of dishonesty were irrelevant to a privacy claim.

He also attacked a claim by the duchess that the article about the letter was part of a pattern of malicious reporting by the newspaper and its sister titles, MailOnline and the Daily Mail.

Prince Charles Walks Meghan Markle Down Aisle
Meghan Markle was walked down the aisle by Britain's Prince Charles at her wedding to Prince Harry after her father Thomas Markle Sr did not attend. They married in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on May 19, 2018. Owen Humphreys/Getty

White asked for nine articles that Meghan's lawyers claim painted her unfairly in a negative light be stripped out of the case.

Court documents also revealed the Mail on Sunday asked Meghan's legal team to nix the court proceedings in light of the coronavirus pandemic and offered to waive any claim to cover their costs, but the offer was declined.

A submission by White reads: "On April 6, 2020, the defendant wrote to the claimant stating that, in the light of the current public health situation, it was incumbent on the parties to seek to avoid the hearing if possible and that, if the Claimant would withdraw the disputed parts of her case, the Defendant would not seek any costs.

"Schillings responded shortly on 16 April stating that their client 'considered it was unreasonable to accept the Offer.'"

A date is yet to be set for the full trial. Mr Justice Warby reserved judgement, meaning he will decide whether to strike out the sections requested by the Mail on Sunday, at a later date.