In Brief

The Harry and Meghan text messages: what’s in the court papers?

Documents show that Duke asked Thomas Markle to call him before 2018 wedding

Prince Harry sent a series of conciliatory text messages to Meghan Markle’s estranged father in the run-up to the royal couple’s wedding, newly submitted court documents show.

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed the content of the messages to Thomas Markle as part of a legal action against  DMG Media (formerly Associated Newspapers), publisher of The Mail on Sunday, that is to be heard at London’s High Court on Friday.

Her father, who lives in Mexico, had been expected to walk her down the aisle in the ceremony at Windsor Palace on 19 May 2018, but “was revealed by The Mail on Sunday to have helped stage paparazzi pictures of himself preparing for the wedding”, The Guardian says.

The texts suggest that Harry attempted to rescue the situation in the days ahead of the big event, which Thomas Markle ultimately did not attend after suffering a heart attack. In one message, the royal wrote: “Tom, Harry again! Really need to speak to u. U do not need to apologize, we understand the circumstances but ‘going public’ will only make the situation worse.

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“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.”

Harry added: “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 newly submitted legal documents claim that The Mail on Sunday’s summary of these messages contained “significant omissions”, with the newspaper “merely” reporting that the messages said “Mr Markle did not need to apologise and that he should call”, the BBC reports.

The files also say that the description of another text exchange “intentionally omits” any reference to the couple attempting to protect Thomas Markle.

Meghan Markle is suing the The Mail on Sunday’s owner for alleged invasion of privacy, breach of copyright and misuse of personal data over the publication of excerpts from a letter that she subsequently sent to her father complaining about his treatment of her.

The Duke and Duchess - who recently moved to California after breaking away from the Royal Family - have also sent a letter to the editors of the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror and The Sun stating that they are adopting a policy of “zero engagement” with the titles and their Sunday and online editions.  

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