A recent report claims Meghan Markle is keen to make amends with her estranged father following his debilitating stroke.
Speaking to the UK's Mirror, a source said the duchess had extended an olive branch to Thomas Markle (77), who has just been discharged from an American hospital after a five-day stay.
“Despite their estrangement, Meghan is concerned. She wants to know if there is any way to contact her father privately, without other family knowing about it or having to get involved,” a source told The Mirror.
Meghan has a strained relationship with her half-siblings, Thomas Jr (55) and Samantha Markle (57) from Thomas' first marriage to Roslyn Markle, both of whom have criticised her behaviour in recent years.
“She believes they have their own agendas,” the source added.
However Samantha has slammed the claim her half-sister has reached out, saying it is not true. “She’s always had his phone number, it hasn’t changed.”
Speaking to Good Morning Britain, she said, “Those rumours are not true, she [Meghan] has not reached out.”
However, she added “the door is wide open” for the duchess, who has reportedly not spoken to the retired lighting director for four years, to privately reconnect with him.
“He loves all of us and he's been bashed in the media for always speaking out to extend an olive branch to reach out to her [Meghan].
“He is her father so he has a right to reach out to her. He has been very honest and open in those feelings and the door is wide open. She’s always had his phone number, it hasn’t changed, and his address, so any suggestion that she doesn’t know how to get hold of him and that she wanted to be private is somewhat ridiculous on the grounds that if you want to reach out to your father privately you know how to do it.”
Thomas, who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, was rushed to a local hospital after he collapsed in a street. He was later transferred to a hospital in America for treatment.
Addressing the situation at the time Samantha said her father was “very ill and couldn’t speak” and they were “praying for his recovery”. Thomas Jr has reportedly flown to Mexico to help care for his father.
READ MORE | Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, suffers major stroke and has to cancel UK trip again
Meghan and Thomas first fell out after it emerged he’d staged a paparazzi shoot shortly before her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018 in a bid to improve his image.
At the time he’d set up snaps of himself getting fitted for a suit and reading articles about his daughter.
He then lied to Harry, who he’d never met, on the phone about posing for the pictures, which sold for millions. He later admitted in an interview he’d made a “serious mistake”.
Soon afterwards he suffered a heart attack which resulted in him being unable to fly to the UK to attend the wedding.
Thomas, who currently only has limited speech, took time to thank people for their well wishes.
In a note he shared, he said he “feels hugely grateful” to the doctors and nurses who helped him and knows he’s “lucky to be alive”.
Thomas was set to travel to the UK to take part in the nation’s jubilee celebrations later this week. He was reportedly hoping to see Meghan and Harry, who are also due to fly to the UK with their children to take part in some of the celebrations, and meet his grandchildren, Archie (3) and Lilibet, for the first time.
Lilibet is set to celebrate her milestone first birthday on 4 June with reports suggesting it may mark her first meeting with her great-grandmother, the queen.
The Sussexes will be based at Frogmore Cottage which is a stone’s throw from the monarch's residence, Windsor Castle.Sources: the-sun.com, dailymail.co.uk, express.co.uk