Like a wounded bear, Thomas Markle lurches between pain and anger. His only balm the tender words he reads over and over again. The familiar voice of his beloved daughter calling out from between the lines of her immaculate handwritten script.
"Daddy, I don’t express as often as I should how much you mean to me,’ writes Meghan. ‘Everything you do for me has turned me into who I am and I am so grateful."
In one of the last notes she sent, just months before she met Prince Harry, Meghan signed off: "I love you with all of my heart now and forever. Love Bean" – her childhood nickname.
Each heartfelt word reveals the true sentiments of a devoted daughter. Meghan’s love for Thomas is as plain as day.
Yet today he is a pariah. At 74, in failing health in his twilight years, he is spending Christmas ostracised by his daughter. Heartbroken, cut off and cast out into the cold by an angry and indignant Meghan.
Meghan has been estranged from her dad ever since he colluded with paparazzi photographers to stage pictures of himself before her wedding to Prince Harry, 34, in May but Thomas says Harry has behaved badly in the past and he has begged Meghan, 37, to get in touch.
He told the Mail On Sunday: "I've pleaded with her to pick up the phone. I wrote her a two-page letter and sent it by certified mail via her representative in Los Angeles. I asked her why she was believing the lies. I also pointed out the Royals haven't always been perfectly behaved. I wrote that I've never played pool naked, nor have I dressed up as a Nazi. [references to Harry's Las Vegas antics in 2012 and when he wore an imitation of a Nazi uniform in 2005]. I even hand-delivered a letter to [Meghan's mother] Doria asking her why our daughter won't speak to me."
Thomas, 74, also revealed that Harry lambasted him on the phone after it was revealed that his paparazzi photographs were staged.
He said: "I said sorry to Harry on the phone and all he said was, 'If you'd listened to me, none of this would have happened'. I did a few things wrong, said a few things I should not have said. But some of the Royals have done far worse things... There are convicts in prisons who have murdered and committed all kinds of horrible crimes, and their daughters still visit them."
Thomas still hopes he can reconcile with his daughter, who is currently pregnant with her first child.
He said: "Meghan and I never had any problems before this. If she would just speak to me, things could be different. I love Meghan very much. I want her and Harry to have a beautiful, healthy baby and a great life. But I want them to stop believing the lies."