‘I’m sorry my heart attack is… any inconvenience for you.’
In one brief but explosive text message, Mr Markle reveals his enormous pain, both physical and emotional, at the rift that exploded around the time of Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
His torment was contained in sensational court documents filed yesterday by lawyers for the Mail on Sunday newspaper – for whom, full disclosure, I write a weekly diary - who are being sued by Meghan for publishing a letter from her to her father.
There were many more messages too, revealing the full devastating behind-the-scenes fall-out between the Markles.
In one brief but explosive text message, Thomas Markle, pictured with Meghan, reveals his enormous pain at the rift that exploded around the time of Meghan and Harry’s wedding
But at the heart of it, quite literally, is the question of three hearts.
The first belongs to Thomas Markle, an elderly man in his 70s, who underwent emergency surgery for congestive heart failure, just four days before the Royal Wedding in May, 2018 – brought on, he believes, by all the stress surrounding it.
He has now provided medical records to support claims he first made in December, 2018, during an exclusive interview on Good Morning Britain with me and my co-host Susanna Reid.
Those claims were widely questioned at the time.
But now we know Thomas was telling the truth.
He DID have emergency heart surgery, and he WAS advised by doctors not to fly 6,000 miles across the Atlantic for what would have been for him, the father of the bride, a very nerve-wracking experience watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
The second heart belongs to Meghan, who loves to tell us all how caring, kind and sensitive she is.
Yesterday, as the firestorm over her and Harry’s decision to quit as full-time Royals continued to rage, she was seen flying by seaplane (ever mindful, as a celebrity eco-warrior, of her carbon footprint!) to visit a women’s shelter in one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods.
As the firestorm over her and Harry’s decision to quit as full-time Royals continued to rage, Meghan was seen flying by seaplane
The media was informed she was there to ‘offer support’ and ‘boost the staff’s spirits’.
And naturally, Meghan posed for photos with the women, knowing they would find their way to the press that she professes to loathe, to publicise her ‘secret’ visit.
Meghan posed for photos at a women's shelter, knowing they would find their way to the press that she professes to loathe, to publicize her ‘secret’ visit
She pulled the same trick last week with another ‘secret visit’ to a Grenfell fire disaster community kitchen group in London, subsequently sharing the photos of herself and Harry at the kitchen on their SussexRoyal Instagram page.
Like all good actresses, Meghan knows how to distract attention and self-promote herself as a ‘charitable’ person.
Yet what does it say about her that she would take a seaplane to go and see complete strangers (after taking four transatlantic flights between the UK and Canada in just seven weeks), yet has never once got on a plane to go see her own father after he suffered a heart attack amid the stress of her wedding?
It says to me that Meghan Markle’s pretence to be the Queen of Hearts is built on the flimsiest of self-interested sand.
Oh, she’s all heart for strangers when there are cameras around.
But it seems she’s utterly heartless when it comes to the man who helped raise her, supported her financially, and about whom, right to the moment she met her handsome prince, she waxed lovingly and lyrically about on public social media platforms.
And talking of the handsome prince, Harry’s been very keen to portray himself as the King of Mental Health.
Prince Harry, pictured with brother William, has banged on relentlessly about why we must all take special care of loved ones who are suffering distress
For the past few years, he’s banged on relentlessly about why we must all take special care of loved ones who are suffering distress.
‘Listen to them!’ the saintly prince has regularly beseeched us. ‘Help them!’
Nothing, he insists, is more important than aiding those with mental health issues.
Yet when his own wife’s father was suffering horribly from the stress of global media attention over their wedding, so much so that he had a heart attack, where was Harry in Thomas’s time of need?
The answer is nowhere.
Harry is accused of firing off angry text messages to Thomas as Meghan's father was suffering horribly from the stress of global media attention over their wedding
Or rather, according to Thomas in the court documents, he was on the end of Meghan’s phone back in London, firing off angry text messages to him about how badly he was treating her.
It’s shocking enough that Harry has still never met his father-in-law.
Yet what does it say about this passionate mental health crusader that Thomas says he was so disregarding of his wellbeing at such a difficult time?
It tells me that like Meghan, Harry loves to talk a good game about compassion and empathy - but doesn’t walk the talk when it comes to his own family.
Thomas Markle is no innocent victim in all this.
He made a big mistake in colluding with paparazzi over photos of himself preparing for the wedding.
But his motives weren’t evil: he just wanted to look better in the media than all the sneaked pictures of him shuffling dishevelled from grocery stores with six-packs of beer.
And in his interview with Good Morning Britain, he didn’t speak badly of Meghan or Harry.
He just repeatedly expressed a hope that they would forgive him for his mistake.
But they couldn’t.
The Queen of Hearts and King of Mental Health have shown no mercy to Thomas Markle.
They’ve thrown him to the wolves, refusing to speak to him for 18 months or let him meet his grandson Archie.
Harry and Meghan have refused to speak to Thomas for 18 months or let him meet his grandson Archie
It’s a terrible way to treat an ailing senior citizen whose only crimes have been to father a girl who went onto marry a British royal prince, turning his quiet retired life in Mexico upside down, and to struggle to deal with the ferocious spotlight that subsequently fell on him.
Meghan and Thomas are now on course to meet again in a courtroom later this year over publication of the letter she wrote him.
She says it was a breach of her copyright and privacy.
He says he did it to correct a one-sided version of the rift that ‘five of her closest friends’ passed to People magazine with Meghan’s obvious approval.
I think Thomas had every right to defend himself, and I feel huge sympathy for him.
But regardless of whose side you’re on, if this case goes ahead then it will be a sensational one, and many more Markle family secrets will doubtless tumble out in the wash.
Already, the public is now able to read astonishingly detailed court evidence that puts a very different gloss on Meghan and Harry’s attempts to portray Thomas Markle as a treacherous villain worthy of being disowned.
No amount of Meghan’s carefully coordinated PR ‘spin’ can change the cold, hard and now incontrovertible facts that her father underwent emergency heart surgery four days before her wedding - and both she and Harry have treated him with brutally callous dismissiveness ever since.
Worth remembering next time they pop up to ‘offer support’ and ‘boost spirits’ to complete strangers in a bid to promote their kind-hearted credentials.