Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex during a visit to the Smart Works career centre in West London, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Picture: AP

The Duchess of Sussex wrote an impassioned plea to her estranged father to stop ‘victimising’ her in the media shortly after her wedding, it emerged Wednesday.

Meghan was said by friends to be so upset by his repeated public attacks on her and Prince Harry that she sent a letter begging him to sort out their differences privately.

It read: ‘Dad, I’m so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship.’

Thomas Markle, who has never met his son-in-law and now lives a reclusive life in Mexico, did respond, but his ‘long’ letter ended with a request that she pose for a photo opportunity with him.

Yesterday a source said: ‘She feels like, “That’s the opposite of what I’m saying. I’m telling you I don’t want to communicate through the media, and you’re asking me to communicate through the media. Did you hear anything I said?”

‘It’s almost like they’re ships passing. Every time her team has to come to her and fact-check something [he has said], it’s like an arrow to the heart.’

The duchess’s heart-rending missive was reported yesterday in the US. It was among revelations in an article published by People magazine, which spoke anonymously to five of her closest female friends, who all insisted claims she is difficult and demanding couldn’t be further from the truth.

However, their most revealing insight concerned her relationship with her father, a former Hollywood lighting director who split from Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, when she was two. Meghan lived with him for several years as a child but he has since been a distant figure in her life.

In the run-up to her wedding last May, Meghan’s father caused outrage when it emerged he had colluded with a paparazzi photographer to stage a series of lucrative photo opportunities.

Such was his humiliation that Mr Markle, who initially denied his actions, offered to pull out of attending the royal wedding.

Meghan, who was in touch with her father by phone and text, insisted he should still come – especially since his name was already on the order of service.

Plans to move him out of Mexico to a ‘safe house’ in Los Angeles in preparation for a flight to England a week before the wedding were duly put in place.

But the morning he was due to be picked up, he refused to leave home. Meghan later heard third-hand he had suffered a heart attack and had undergone surgery.

A source told the magazine: ‘Meg and Harry were still so focused on getting [Thomas Markle] to London. At no point was there talk of, “Now that we know he lied, he’s in trouble.” Tom wouldn’t take her calls, wouldn’t take Harry’s calls.

‘The next morning when the car got there [to take him to the airport], he wouldn’t get in. [Later] Meg heard he had a heart attack and she’s calling and texting, even up to the night before the wedding. It was like, “Please pick up. I love you, and I’m scared.” It was endless.’

The source also denied Mr Markle’s claims he has since been ‘ghosted’ by his daughter. They said he has never tried to get in touch, and her private number has never changed.

They added: ‘I think she will always feel genuinely devastated by what he’s done.’

The article also paints a cosy, domestic picture of her and Harry, who are expecting their first baby in April, in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace with their dogs. One friend who visited recently said Meghan was sitting by a heater painting her nails as she got ready for an official engagement.

They insisted that not only does she do her own make-up and styles herself, but also writes many of her – and Harry’s – speeches.

The same source said claims she had annoyed staff by sending emails at 5am were simply a ‘misreading’ of her ‘organised, diligent, focused and hard-working’ nature.

Renovations are currently in progress at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where the couple will move before the birth.

Dad, I’m so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship