After her whirlwind year, few would begrudge Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex her summer break on the west coast of America. But courtiers may have other plans – as they consider a reunion with her estranged father Thomas Markle.
Markle has repeatedly embarrassed his daughter by revealing Prince Harry’s views on Brexit, calling the monarchy ‘dusty and old’ and even saying ‘it would be easier for Meghan if I died’ in a series of media interviews.
But in an effort to ‘get dad on board’ it is believed that a secret meeting could be arranged for three weeks’ time at his Mexican home or in the US.
A source claims the 74-year-old former Hollywood lighting director – who pulled out of the royal wedding on health grounds – is understood to be ‘keeping two dates free at the end of the month’ to meet his daughter.
Friends of the duchess believe it could be the first move to end the family rift which has plagued her since she married in May. Mr Markle, who reportedly had a heart attack after the embarrassing episode, is said to be ‘delighted’ about the potential meeting.
A royal source told the Sunday Mirror: "The possibility of a reunion has been discussed and Meghan looks set to incorporate it into her trip".
‘Thomas is apparently keeping two dates free at the end of the month with a view to travelling from his home in Mexico to LA to meet his daughter. The location and exact dates will be top secret for both their sakes. It is a very sensitive time for them, but the intent seems to be to heal the rift.’
The source added: ‘The plan is in early stages but Meghan seems to be tentatively moving towards meeting her father on her own.’
Harry has previously spoken to his father-in-law by phone but the two are not believed to have met.
Father and daughter are said to have exchanged only texts since her May 19 wedding.
Mr Markle was frozen out by the Palace after he was caught staging paparazzi photos, which were reportedly sold for £100,000, a week before the ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The pictures showed her father being measured for a suit and looking at stories about the couple online.
Days later he dropped out of the wedding citing health reasons and Prince Charles walked Meghan down the aisle instead.
Then, without telling the Palace, Mr Markle appeared on Good Morning Britain. He revealed Harry’s views on Donald Trump and also said his daughter was desperate to start a family with her new husband, saying: "There’s got to be a child soon".
The Duchess, who turned 37 on Saturday, was said to be mortified.
Kensington Palace declined to comment on the matter.