The text message Meghan Markle sent to aide Jason Knauf on why she wrote letter to father

The Duchess of Sussex arrves for her visit to Canada House, central London, meeting with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada.  Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA
The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle Credit: PA

A text message Meghan Markle sent to a former aide explaining why she sent a letter to her dad has been released.

In the message to her former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, the Duchess of Sussex says the letter she had drafted to her father Thomas Markle, 77, had been written "with the understanding that it could be leaked".

And she asks for advice for anything that stands out "as a liability".

The message also goes into detail about how Meghan intends to send her letter and her motivation for doing so.

She tells Mr Knauf she wants to protect Prince Harry from "constant berating" from the royal family by showing them she has at least written to her father to try to stop him talking to the press.


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She wrote: "Even after a week with his dad and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context – and revert to ‘can’t she just go and see him and make this stop?’

“They fundamentally don’t understand so at least by writing H will be able to say to his family ‘she wrote him a letter and he’s still doing it’.

“By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating and while unlikely perhaps it will give my father a moment to pause.”

She also suggests a handwritten letter "does not open the door for a conversation".

The text Meghan Markle sent to Jason Knauf while she was drafting her letter to her father Thomas Markle Credit: Schillings/RPC

The text message was released on Friday during a court appeal brought by Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, against a High Court judge’s decision to grant Meghan summary judgment in a privacy case – meaning she won her case without a trial.

In the earlier privacy case, the Duchess of Sussex, 40, had sued the newspaper company over five articles that reproduced parts of a “personal and private” letter to her father.

Meghan's text to Mr Knauf and more messages were made public on Friday following an application by PA news agency and The Times.

In the appeal hearing this week, the newspaper publisher's lawyers said they want to rely on new evidence from Mr Knauf, who claimed Meghan wrote the letter to her father with the understanding that it could be leaked.

Credit: PA images

Meghan previously told the Court of Appeal the main purpose of her letter “was to encourage my father to stop talking to the press” after public criticism and a “media onslaught” surrounding Mr Markle.

She wrote in her evidence: “It was only when my father began criticizng the royal family…that senior members of the family and their advisers expressed their concern over the public attacks, and expressed their desire to have them stopped."

During the Court of Appeal hearing, the Daily Mail publisher's lawyers argued an article published by the US' People magazine that featured an interview with five of Meghan's friends misrepresented the letter and made “nasty” allegations about Mr Markle.

Andrew Caldecott QC said the article falsely presented Mr Markle as giving “a cynical and self-interested response ignoring her pleas for reconciliation in a loving letter”.

Former chief executive of The Royal Foundation Jason Knauf Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

The court also heard Mr Knauf provided information to authors of Harry and Meghan's biography Finding Freedom – leading to Meghan apologising for misleading the court about whether he had given information.

In his witness statement, Mr Knauf said the book was “discussed on a routine basis”, which was “discussed directly with the duchess multiple times in person and over email”.

New texts and emails show that in an email to Meghan in December 2018, Mr Knauf said he had spent “close to two hours” with the authors of the biography.

An email by Jason Knauf to Meghan in December 2018 said he had spent “close to two hours” with the authors of the biography. Credit: Schillings/RPC

“I took them through everything,” he wrote.

“They are going to time the book for run-up to the baby being born and it is going to be very positive.”

Mr Knauf also told the duchess the book would be a “celebration of you that corrects the record on a number of fronts”.

At the end of the hearing on Thursday, the three judges said they will consider the evidence and give their ruling at a later date.