The Duchess of Sussex’s father has said he does not want to use his grandchildren as “pawns in a game” by taking legal action in order to see them.
Thomas Markle told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he would love to see his grandchildren Archie and Lilibet, but feared being branded as a “stalker” if he made attempts to visit them.
Asked if he is worried about never being able to meet the children, Mr Markle said: “I’m very concerned about that – I’d really love to see my grandchildren.
“People have suggested in California that I sue to see my kids and I think if I did that I’d be a hypocrite. I’d be doing the same thing as Meghan and Harry are doing.
“I don’t want to include my grandchildren in this kind of situation. I want to see my grandchildren with friendly parents and friendship all around.”
He added: “I’ve been told by several lawyers that grandparents have sued to see their grandchildren and won in California but I’m not going to do that.
“I don’t want to involve my grandchildren as pawns in a game, they’re not part of the game.”
Mr Markle added that it was important for his grandchildren to know they have “two loving families”, but said he could not go to visit them at their home in California.
“I really can’t go down to Montecito because I’ll be pointed out as a stalker,” he said.
“But my message for the kids is that they have two loving families and their great-grandmother is the Queen of England and that’s important for them to know.
'Once she hooked up with Harry, she changed.'
Meghan Markle's father Thomas Markle says Meghan has cut off both sides of her family and he 'doesn't understand it'.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) October 19, 2021
“It’s important for them to know that they have two families and eventually they’re going to grow up and they’re going to want to know more about them.”
Family lawyer Joanne Wescott, from Osbornes Law, confirmed that Mr Markle would have the right to apply to see his grandchildren, should he wish to.
“Under US law, Mr Markle would have the right to apply to see grandchildren and there have been several successful cases in California,” she said
“Unlike in the US, UK-based grandparents do not have the automatic right to contact with their grandchildren, although they can apply to the courts for permission for contact.
“In the UK such actions are rarely successful and it is not uncommon for grandparents to be cut out of a child’s life.”
Commenting on the Duke of Sussex’s forthcoming book, Mr Markle said Harry had “abandoned everyone”, and the project was “shameful”.
“I think Harry has abandoned the Queen, the royal family, the British people and the Army. He’s abandoned them all,” he said.
“All he does now is ride a bicycle around the neighbourhood… I don’t know if it’s much of a life for him either. It doesn’t make sense.
“Harry is coming out with a book and that can’t be anything but cruel, and to insult his grandmother… it’s a ridiculous idea and it’s just something for money.
“Everything they’re doing is for money.
“To do that to your grandmother, who is 95 years old, is shameful.”