The 1999 video that tells a very different story about Meghan Markle's relationship with her dad.

Since becoming a member of the British royal family, everything Meghan Markle does has made headlines.

Her outfits, her hairstyles, her cradling of her baby bump… But among all the usual news we expect about royals, have been endless tabloid stories about her family.

Unlike others related to the royals by marriage – including the Middletons and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland – her dad Thomas Markle and half-sister Samantha Markle regularly speak to media.

Listen to Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky dive deep on Meghan Markle’s relationship with her dad. You can subscribe here. Post continues after audio. 

And this has caused a major rift between them and the Duchess.

Leslie Carroll, author of American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spoke to Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky about the strained relationship Meghan has with her family.

Meghan was extremely close with her father growing up – she would spend time with both her parents, as a family, even after they divorced and would visit Thomas, a well-known Hollywood director of photography, on the set of his TV shows after school.

meghan markle letter to father

Leslie said Meghan and her father were on good terms in 2016 and 2017, before things went downhill as she prepared to marry Prince Harry.

But as a video from 1999 shows, this wasn't the first time their relationship had become strained.

"A video surfaced that her high school bestie Ninaki Priddy had filmed and I don't know whether this was intended to just be fun or an amateur audition tape... But there was a tape made when Meghan was about freshman college age and she's driving her car to a Shakira dance video," Leslie explained to The Quicky host Claire Murphy.


"She and Ninaki are driving through Hollywood and Beverly Hills and she casually mentions 'My father doesn't live far from here but we're not going to stop by because my father and I aren't speaking right now'."

It's a throwaway line at the end of the video and no one in the family has explained this, Leslie said.

But it does add an interesting talking point to the narrative about Meghan's relationship with her father.

Last month Thomas Markle released part of a letter Meghan wrote him.

In it, she wrote that Thomas had “broken [her] heart into a million pieces” by creating “unnecessary and unwarranted pain”, and accused him of “fabricating stories” to establish a false narrative about their relationship.

“You’ve told the press that you called me to say you weren’t coming to the wedding — that didn’t happen because you never called,” it read.

“You’ve said I never helped you financially and you’ve never asked me for help with is also untrue.

“I have only ever loved, protected, and defended you, offering whatever financial support I could worrying about your health … and always asking how I could help.”

Leslie explained that releasing this letter has done nothing to serve Thomas Markle and may have permanently severed his relationship with his daughter, and therefore his relationship with his future grandchild.


"None of this is serving him. Meghan is really not permitted by royal protocol to defend herself from these attacks and when she does it makes her look less dignified and it makes it look like a horrible reality TV show gone wrong, it looks like the Jerry Springer show.

"I can't understand how he expects a reconciliation when he's digging himself a deeper hole."

Video by Mamamia

She said that perhaps Thomas should have received guidance or advice from someone associated with the royal family to prepare him for how to interact - or basically, not interact - with the press.

But then again, no one had to tell Doria and she's been doing just fine.

"When you compare his behaviour, his outrageousness... Compare that with Doria Ragland's behavior. Doria has never been anything but tight lipped and dignified and elegant about it.

"Thomas Markle is going to have a grandchild now, so unless he starts behaving like Doria I don't see how Meghan can survive this."