Samantha Markle. Picture: YouTube/Screengrab

Meghan Markle’s half-sister has revealed that the letter she hand-delivered to Kensington Palace begs the Duchess of Sussex to reconcile with their ailing father ‘before it’s too late’.

In the letter, Samantha Markle admits that the family has said some unfavourable things ‘clumsily’, but she adds that she believes the Duchess is ‘gracious and compassionate enough to do the right thing’.

Samantha 53, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is in a wheelchair, delivered the letter to a gatekeeper at Kensington Palace two weeks ago during a trip to the UK.

The photograph of her handing it over was published in newspapers and magazines around the world but the contents of the letter were not known – until now.

Addressed to ‘Dear Duchess Meghan’, the emotional two-page letter in elegant script implores Meghan to heal the rift with their father Thomas, 74, who has had two heart attacks and is in poor health.

Samantha was born to Thomas’s first wife Rosalyn. However, she lived with her father, Meghan and Meghan’s mother Doria – Thomas’s second wife – during her teenage years in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills.

Revealing the contents of the letter exclusively to The Mail on Sunday on Saturday night, Samantha explained: ‘I know Meghan and I know she has a kind heart.

‘Her rift with our father makes no sense at all.

‘The Palace spin doctors have put out that Meghan feels she can’t trust Dad because of all the stories that have been written about him but Meghan should know better.

‘Because of my illness, my hands don’t work so I wrote the letter on my computer in an elegant script. Meghan is into calligraphy and I wanted to send her something beautiful and from the heart.

‘Now that she is about to become a parent herself I was hoping this letter would cut through all the misconception and explain to her the hurt and isolation the family felt.’

The letter implores Meghan not to believe reports suggesting Thomas faked having a heart attack to avoid walking his daughter down the aisle because he was embarrassed about colluding with paparazzi pictures before the wedding.

Samantha writes: ‘What is most critical here is the fact that Dad suffered a real heart attack, not just once but twice, as a result of the stress from all of the misperception, the breakdown in communication with you and his being forced to be reclusive and inactive to avoid the limelight.

‘His attempt to avoid the tension created just the opposite… he loves you very much and has made several attempts to reach out to you both privately and publicly at his fragile age of 74.

‘I don’t believe that his health can bear this isolation on a continual basis. He has been loving and self-sacrificing to you over your whole life, even raising you on his own for a significantly large part of it.’

The letter criticises the way Mr Markle was left to fend for himself at his home in Mexico when news of Meghan’s relationship and subsequent engagement to Prince Harry became public.

While Meghan’s mother Doria was given support – at one point representatives from the British Consulate in LA were photographed visiting her house – Samantha says their father was ‘hung out to dry’ and given no guidance, security protection or advice on how to deal with the ‘deluge’ of attention. ‘He should have been able to speak directly with his daughter,’ she writes, while imploring her sister to have ‘a broader understanding of these very unique circumstances’.

‘You have been wished well and supported (by us) from afar throughout all of this, even though we expressed frustration at times. And so much did not make sense.’

The letter continues: ‘You know you were not raised as an only child, contrary to public attempts at painting the picture this way, and this family is and always was supportive of you, even though we have said some unfavorable things clumsily, out of self-defense and hurt feelings… and only as a last resort.

‘All of this came about upon our family quite suddenly, as you know. I want nothing from you, but your continued happiness, and the happiness of Dad. He loves you very much, and I only ask that you reach out to him before it is too late.

‘I know that he wants to be there for you, without the media and water under the bridge as an unnecessary barrier.

‘I believe that in your heart you understand that what I’m saying is true. I also believe that you are gracious and compassionate enough to do the right thing and engage in peaceful resolve as none of this was ever intended [to be] hurtful and could have been prevented early on by effective communication and understanding within the entire family.’

Samantha ends the letter by saying: ‘I do not require a response to this letter but please communicate with Dad.’

Mail On Sunday