Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Doria broke news of royal birth to Thomas Markle before Meghan and Harry’s new arrival

Thomas Markle says he wants to see Meghan and Archie

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Doria is known to be exceptionally close to her daughter Meghan Markle and is reportedly helping the Duke and Duchess of Sussex out with their newborn Lilibet as they adjust to life as a family of four. Based in LA, Doria is much closer to the family since they moved to the US and settled in the Californian community Montecito last year. She is reportedly a constant presence in their household. Her relationship with the Sussexes is a sharp contrast to that of her ex-husband’s, Thomas Markle — he is believed to have never met Harry or either of his grandchildren, even though Meghan first became involved with the royal back in 2016.

Even when Archie was born in May 2019, it’s thought Thomas only found out through Doria that he had just become a grandfather.

Writing in Finding Freedom, authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claimed: “Doria messaged Thomas with the news, which Meghan had asked her to.

“The new mother did not want him to find out after the rest of the world.

“But she didn’t want to know whether her father replied to her mother’s text.”

Doria and Thomas divorced when Meghan was just six, but remained on good terms for the sake of their child.

Thomas has repeatedly told the media that he wants to reconcile with his daughter over the years, but Meghan appeared to shut down any chances of a reunion during her Oprah Winfrey interview.

She told Oprah back in March: “I grieve a lot. I lost my father.”

Meghan became estranged from him in the run-up to her wedding after a fallout over staged paparazzi photographs.

He said he then had a heart attack which meant he was unable to attend the nuptials, and so his daughter was walked down the aisle by Prince Charles instead.

The pair have reportedly not spoken to one another since.

Discussing this fallout and her father’s liaison with the press, Meghan said: “I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child, so it’s hard for me to reconcile that.”

After the bombshell interview aired, Oprah also shared her take on the fractured relationship between Thomas and Meghan.

She said: “Her relationship with her father is similar to what’s happening between Harry and William.

“There’s distance there, maybe with time it’ll get better, but for now, no.”

In comparison, Meghan touched on her relationship with Doria during the same interview and praised her mother’s reticence.

She said: “Look, they hunted my mum down, and you’ve never heard her say a word.

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“She’s remained in silent dignity for four years, watching me go through this.”

It remains unclear how Thomas found out that he had become a grandfather again last Friday, and if he knew before the Sussexes made the news public on Sunday.

But, discussing the new arrival this week, Thomas told The Sun Online: “I’m very pleased that my daughter and my new granddaughter had a successful delivery.

“I wish them all my love and the best of luck.”

Doria was reportedly not present at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital during Lilibet’s birth, but is known to spend a great deal of time with the Sussexes.

She was also delighted when Meghan and Harry decided to raise their children in California, as she believed it was “healthier for a normal upbringing” as well.

In the Amazon Prime documentary, ‘Meghan Markle: Changing Traditions’, a source said: “As she raised Meghan to stand strong in her beliefs, [Doria] is thrilled that Archie, too, will be able to grow up having the freedom to make his own decisions in life, which would not have been possible if Harry and Meghan had stayed in the Royal Family.

“She feels that it’s healthier for Archie to have a normal upbringing.”

Doria reportedly was “over-the-moon to have Archie close to home” as well, and so will undoubtedly be equally delighted to know her second grandchild is being raised just a short drive away from her own home.

Even Lilibet’s name is said to contain a subtle nod to Doria, whom Meghan has previously referred to as her “best friend”.

Doria’s nickname for her only child is “flower”, and as Meghan and Harry intend to shorten their newborn’s name to “Lili”, many have seen it as a tribute to the Duchess’ mother.

‘Finding Freedom’ by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was published in 2020 by HarperCollins and is available here.

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