The Duchess of Sussex offered to send a security team to her father, Thomas Markle, to protect him from press intrusion in the lead-up to their royal wedding in May 2018, it has been revealed.
Text messages from Meghan to Mr Markle have been disclosed in legal documents ahead of the first hearing of her privacy claim against Associated Newspapers, publisher of The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over publication of a private letter the Duchess sent to her father in August 2018.
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On 15 May 2018, Meghan texted her dad saying: "I've been reaching out to you all weekend but you're not taking any of our calls or replying to any texts.
"Very concerned about your health and safety and have taken every measure to protect you but not sure what more we can do if you don't respond.
"Do you need help? Can we send the security team down again? I'm very sorry to hear you're in the hospital but need you to please get in touch with us ... What hospital are you at?"
The Duchess sent another text about 10 minutes later, saying: "Harry and I made a decision earlier today and are dispatching the same security guys you turned away this weekend to be a presence on the ground to make sure you're safe ... they will be there at your disposal as soon as you need them. Please, please call as soon as you can.. all of this is incredibly
concerning but your health is most important."
Mr Markle responded by saying he would be in hospital for a few days but was OK, and refused the offer of security.
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Prince Harry and Meghan married in May 2018
The documents state that, rather than responding to the calls and messages, Mr Markle issued a public statement through US website TMZ that he had gone to hospital because he had suffered a heart attack. It also claimed that this is how Meghan first learned her father was in hospital.
The Duke and Duchess also warned Mr Markle not to go to the press otherwise it would "backfire." Text messages from Prince Harry to Mr Markle have also been disclosed in the legal documents, in which the Duke wrote: "Tom, Harry again! Really need to speak to u. U do not need to apologize (sic), we understand the circumstances but 'going public' will only make the situation worse.
"If u love Meg and want to make it right please call me as there are two other options which don't involve u having to speak to the media, who incidentally created this whole situation. So please call me so I can explain. Meg and I are not angry, we just need to speak to u. Thanks. Oh any speaking to the press WILL backfire, trust me Tom. Only we can help u, as we have been trying from day 1."
The preliminary hearing on Friday will be conducted remotely.
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