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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are seen with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor at Windsor Castle Image Credit: Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan could be facing a lawsuit if the Duchess of Sussex’s estranged father goes through with his threat to start legal proceedings in a bid to see his grandchildren.

Thomas Markle told Fox News he has hopes to have a relationship with his grandchildren, Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana, and wants to play a part in their lives.

“I will be petitioning the California courts for the rights to see my grandchildren in the very near future,” Markle told Fox News, while calling out his daughter and Prince Harry for their behaviour with the British royal family.

Meghan and Thomas Markle
Meghan and Thomas Markle Image Credit: GN Archives

“Archie and Lili are small children. They’re not politics. They’re not pawns. They’re not part of the game. And they’re also royal and entitled to the same rights as any other royal,” Markle further added.

Markle also took the opportunity to slam Prince Harry’s recent announcement that he is working on his memoir, to be released next year. “Harry doesn’t have too much more to tell,” he said.

Prince Harry and Meghan have had tumultuous year following their bombshell interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey in March, where they spoke about the royal family having concerns over the skin colour of Archie before his birth. The racism charge was coupled with Meghan’s own revelation that she had contemplated suicide during her first pregnancy and had reached out for help but the royal family denied her any assistance,

Days after the interview, Markle appeared on ‘Good Morning Britain’, while Piers Morgan was still a co-host, and stated that his entire family had been ghosted by Meghan following her marriage into the royal family, yet adding that he continues to love her even today. The estranged father also addressed the statement made by Meghan during the Winfrey interview where she revealed she had contemplated suicide while pregnant with her son Archie.

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking about expecting their second child during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left, speaking with Oprah Winfrey. Image Credit: Harpo Productions

“I’ve been pushed around and knocked down for one thing I did. For one big mistake I made and I have apologised for it as many times as I possibly can. However, I love my daughter very much. Had I known that she’d been having psychological problems, I would have been there for her,” Markle said on ‘GMB’.

Markle also stated he wished to end the rift with Meghan. “I have never stopped loving my daughter. I don’t always agree with the things my children do, but I never stop loving my children. She can be angry with me … but I’m still her dad and if you ever read Tig [Meghan’s former blog], there’s a thing on Tig where she talks about me. And she makes a statement where she says there should be more guys like my dad. So, there must be some good left here somewhere.”

During her interview with Winfrey, the Duchess of Sussex spoke about her distance with her father in the lead up to the wedding in 2018. “There was such an obsession about anything in my world, including tracking down my parents… Once they did, I remember being told there was a huge headline like, ‘We found him’ or ‘We’ve got him.’ You’re talking about someone’s father. And from that point, the tabloids, they moved into the apartment next door and across from him. Descended on this small town, which is giving him gifts. The whole thing brings us to where we are today,” Meghan said.

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This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left, speaking with Oprah Winfrey. Image Credit: Harpo Productions

When Winfrey prodded further, asking Meghan whether she felt betrayed by her father for eventually speaking to the UK tabloids, Meghan said she did not know if she was comfortable “even talking about that.”

She further added: “If we were going to use the word betrayal, it’s because when I asked him, when we were told by the comms team, this is a story that was going to be coming out, which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama, which is also a really key point in all this. The tabloids do not report news, they create the news.”

The Duchess of Sussex said her father said he had “absolutely not” been speaking to the press when she called to ask him. “I said, you know, the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we’re not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our own kids one day,” Meghan added.

Harry and Meghan at their wedding in 2018 Image Credit: AP

Markle was set to walk Meghan down the aisle during the 2018 church ceremony, but dropped out after the British press reported he was paid to pose for photos that showed him getting measured for his wedding suit and making other preparations. Ultimately, Prince Charles walked Meghan down the aisle at the wedding, with Markle later stating he regretted pulling the stunt.

Prince Harry and Meghan have also seemingly fallen out of favour with the British royal family following their decision to speak so openly about the otherwise conservative set-up after move to Los Angeles last year.

Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pose with their son Archie in this undated handout photo.
Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pose with their son Archie in this undated handout photo. Image Credit: Courtesy of Missan Hariman

With Prince Harry’s own relationships with his father, Prince Charles and brother Prince William strained, the one silver lining to bring the family back together was the birth of Lilbet this spring. When the prince returned to England for the late Princess Diana’s 60th birthday, he told fans: “We’ve been lucky so far... She’s very chilled and seems happy to just sit there while Archie is running around like crazy.”