Young Archie and Lilibet are being ‘deprived’ of seeing their grandparents by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, her father Thomas Markle today claimed.
The 77-year-old father of the Duchess of Sussex accused the couple of being ‘terribly unfair’ to their children by keeping them away from relatives, including himself, their grandfather Prince Charles and great-grandmother, the Queen.
Speaking to Australian TV from his home in Mexico, 120 miles south of Harry and Meghan’s £11million Montecito mansion, he revealed he is yet to meet Archie, 2, and three-month-old Lilibet.
He also accused his daughter, with whom he is estranged, of having an ‘attitude’ not to let him to see his grandchildren.
Mr Markle said the only family member who had regular access to the children currently was Meghan’s mother, and his ex-wife, Doria Ragland.
But he vowed not to use legal avenues in order to see the children, saying he did not want them to be ‘used like pawns’.
Speaking to Channel 7’s Sunrise, he said: ‘I think they (Archie and Lilibet) are being deprived of seeing all their grandparents and I think they are being deprived of seeing all their relatives and I think that’s terribly unfair to them.’
Asked if he would consider legal action to see the children, he said: ‘I’ve had offers from several lawyers – pro-bono – because we do have the right to sue to see our grandchildren.
‘But to me that’s like trying to descend into a game and using them like pawns and I won’t sue to see them because I just think that’s using them and it’s not what I plan to do.
‘They shouldn’t be used, they are just babies. So no, I will wait.’
Thomas Markle (pictured) accused Harry and Meghan of being ‘terribly unfair’ to their children by keeping them away from relatives, including himself, their grandfather Prince Charles and great-grandmother, the Queen
Speaking to Australian TV from his home in Mexico, 120 miles south of Harry and Meghan’s £11million Montecito mansion, he revealed he was yet to meet Archie, 2, (pictured here with Harry and Meghan) and three-month-old Lilibet
‘I will wait patiently until they are ready to bring them to me. But as long as my daughter has the attitude she doesn’t want me to see them, that’s the way it’s going to be.’
He later urged the couple, who have been living in California since their acrimonious split from the Royal Family, to return to England.
‘I would like them, all four of them, to go back to England and fulfil their duties. It’s better for the children and it’s better for them,’ Mr Markle said.
‘By not taking back they are cheating their children. They also get much better protection in England than in Montecito.
Thomas Markle also urged the couple (pictured here with Archie and while Meghan was pregnant with Lilibet), who have been living in California since their acrimonious split from the Royal Family, to return to England
‘I would like to see them maybe make up with the Queen and make up with his (Harry’s) father, and then we can make up.’
The comments were made as part of a 15-minute long interview with the Channel 7 breakfast show, broadcast earlier toady.
Mr Markle, who earlier this year criticised his daughter in an exclusive interview with UK show Good Morning Britain, today described his daughter as ‘controlling’.
Asked if it was his daughter who was the ‘controlling one’ in their relationship, he said: ‘I believe that 100 per cent. My daughter is very controlling.’
Mr Markle also took a swipe at Prince Harry during his latest TV appearance.
He said he was yet to meet his son-in-law and that the Prince had not contacted him to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage prior to their 2018 wedding – for which Mr Markle was not present.
In another barbed comment, he also accused the 37-year-old royal of ‘failing as a husband’ over his handling of Meghan’s mental health claims.
Speaking during the couple’s interview with Oprah earlier this year, the Duchess, 40, said she had contemplated taking her own life.
But she said after going to palace officials for help, she was refused any kind of medical support.
Mr Markle, who earlier this year criticised his daughter in an exclusive interview with UK show Good Morning Britain (pictured), today described his daughter as ‘controlling’
Mr Markle said: ‘I think Harry was a total failure as a husband, because if a wife or child of mine came to me and say I have a psychological problems and was thinking about suicide I would get them directly to a doctor.
‘I wouldn’t have to go and check with someone first.’
It is not the first time Mr Markle has made the claim. After the couple’s interview with Oprah in March, he described the Prince as snotty and accused him of failing to support his daughter.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain earlier this year about his daughter’s mental health claims, he said: ‘It really did upset me, like I said, it would have been easy for her to reach out to me, any of the rest of her family, who she claims she doesn’t know.
‘But the other thing is that I would think that she could turn to her husband.’ When noted she did speak to Harry, Mr Markle said Meghan’s husband Harry had ‘obviously not supported her that well’.
Mr Markle also slammed his daughter’s decision to refuse to see or speak to him in his previous television appearance.
Speaking at the time Mr Markle said: ‘The biggest problem here is she’s pretty much ghosted all of her family’.
Mr Markle, who raised Meghan as a child, was supposed to walk his daughter down the aisle in May 2018 but pulled out of the ceremony following health problems.
The two were also engaged in a row about him speaking to the press. Mr Markle has maintained he was ‘set up’ by journalists – who he claims he plans to sue.
During Meghan’s interview with Oprah in March, she asked the Duchess: ‘Did it feel like betrayal when you found that your father was working with the tabloids?’
During Meghan’s interview with Oprah (pictured) in March, she asked the Duchess: ‘Did it feel like betrayal when you found that your father was working with the tabloids?’
After weighing up if she was ‘comfortable’ delving into the issue, Meghan said her father had assured he had ‘absolutely not’ spoken to the press.
She said: ‘If we’re going to use the word betrayal it’s because when I asked him, when we were told by the comms team this was a story that was going to be coming out which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama, which is also a key point in all this, they don’t report the news, they create the news.
‘We called my dad, and I asked him, and he said no, absolutely not. I said, you know, the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we’re not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our kids one day.
She added: ‘I said we won’t be able to protect our own kids one day, and I said, I just need you to tell me. If you tell me the truth, we can
‘And he wasn’t able to do that. And that for me has really resonated, especially now as a mother.’
Meghan went on: ‘And also me saying just full stop, if we use this to protect you, we won’t be able to protect our own children one day, I’m talking about your grandchildren.
‘I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I go I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can’t imagine it. So it’s hard for me to reconcile that.’
MailOnline contacted representatives for the Sussexes for comment last night.