Thomas Markle, the father of the Duchess of Sussex, has not been told of the reason for the nine month delay to the court case involving Meghan and the Mail on Sunday.
The Duchess is suing the newspaper’s owners for publishing a letter she sent to Mr Markle shortly after the Royal Wedding in 2018.
Last month, a High Court judge agreed to delay the trial from its scheduled slot in January 2021 to the following October after a private hearing in court.
The reasons given in that hearing have not been made public and we learned this morning that neither has Thomas Markle been told of the “confidential basis” for the delay.
The judge, Mr Justice Warby, said that was “quite right” even though Meghan’s father has said in a witness statement that he was finding the whole process “stressful” and that he would prefer an earlier trial.
The judge noted that Mr Markle is ”elderly and not in the best of health” but he asserted that Meghan’s father could make a deposition with the newspaper’s lawyers if he were to be unable to fly to London to give evidence at the High Court.
It’s the Mail on Sunday’s intention for Thomas Markle to testify against his daughter in court as part of the newspaper’s defence case against the privacy lawsuit the Duchess has brought against it.
Thomas Markle was due to attend Meghan and Harry’s wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 but had to pull out in the days beforehand, having said he had suffered a heart attack.
Previous to that development, he had staging some photographs for paparazzi photographers and taking some money for them.
Earlier pre-trial hearings in this case have been told that Meghan and her father have not spoken or texted since the morning of the Royal Wedding and Thomas Markle still has not met Prince Harry or the couple’s son, Archie.
Before moving the trial, the judge agreed that Meghan could seek to have it heard on a “summary” basis – which would, if successful, avoid the need for a trial at all.
That Summary Judgement will be heard in January.