Thomas Markle: Timeline of the key moments in fallout with Meghan Markle

Harry and Meghan's Invictus coverage discussed by experts

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement prompted a public frenzy in 2017, and everyone wanted to find out more about the person who had finally captured Harry’s heart. The couple subsequently married in May 2018, and while Meghan’s family life with Harry and their children Archie and Lilibet is known to be blissful, her relationship with her father has often appeared strained in recent years. Express.co.uk explores Meghan’s relationship with her father since her engagement to Prince Harry was announced nearly five years ago.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement – 2017

Harry and Meghan announced their engagement with a stunning photocall at Kensington Palace, to the delight of their families, friends and royal fans.

In an interview marking their engagement in November 2017, Meghan explained that Harry had spent a lot of time getting to know her mother Doria Ragland.

The Duchess-to-be added that Harry had talked to her dad a few times, although he had not been able to meet him just yet.

Meghan said in the BBC interview: “Everybody was really happy. And [Prince Harry’s] talked to my dad a few times, hasn’t been able to meet him just yet, but it’s all been, it’s all been worth every effort.”

Doria and Thomas released a statement about their daughter’s engagement, which read: “We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person.

“To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”

Read More: Piers Morgan in new swipe at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Wedding preparations – 2018

Jason Knauf, Prince Harry’s former communications secretary, told reporters in April 2018 that both Doria and Thomas would have a role in their daughter’s wedding.

Mr Knauf said: “On the morning of the wedding, Ms Ragland will travel with Ms Markle by car to Windsor Castle.

“Mr Markle will walk his daughter down the aisle of St George’s Chapel. Ms Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion.”

But on May 17, 2018, a statement from Kensington Palace confirmed Mr Markle would not be travelling from Mexico, where he lives, to attend his daughter’s big day as he required heart surgery.

A message from Meghan read: “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.

“I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”

Mr Markle faced controversy when it emerged he had reportedly collaborated with a photographer to stage a series of pictures in the run-up to his daughter’s royal wedding.

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Speaking about the controversy on ITV’s Good Morning Britain last year, Mr Markle expressed regret and said: “So, I, yes, I went for this deal where this man was going to make me look better.

“Maybe I got sucked into it, but I believed him, and I thought it was going to work. It didn’t work. Of course.”

Mr Markle has given some bombshell television interviews since his daughter first started dating Prince Harry in 2018, and it is understood Meghan and her father no longer have a close relationship.

In her TV interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Meghan said of her royal exit: “I’ve lost my father, I lost a baby, I nearly lost my name. But I’m still standing.”

Meghan Markle sues Associated Newspapers – 2019 to 2022

In 2019, Meghan sued Associated Newspapers, which owns the Mail on Sunday and the sister website MailOnline, over five articles that reproduced parts of a handwritten letter she had sent her father Thomas Markle the previous year.

A judge had previously ruled in favour of Meghan, and last December the Duchess won the latest stage of her legal battle after the Court of Appeal rejected Associated Newspapers’ attempt to have a trial in the privacy and copyright case.

Meghan said it was a “victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right”.

The appeal judge Sir Geoffrey Vos said in a summary statement: “Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.”

The Mail on Sunday paid £1 in damages for invading Meghan’s privacy, and the outlet paid an unspecified sum for a separate case of infringing the Duchess’ copyright by publishing portions of the letter.

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