She may often appear confident and headstrong but Meghan Markle (39) is not averse to asking for help on occasion.
Court documents have revealed that the former royal sought advice from two senior members of the royal family over how to stop her estranged father, Thomas Markle, from talking to the media.
While the two members are not named, their help prompted the Duchess of Sussex to write a private letter to her dad, which she sent him in August 2018, a few months after she married Prince Harry in a ceremony he famously did not attend.
A document submitted to the high court in London by her legal team says: “Given the claimant’s level of distress surrounding the form, frequency and content of the media coverage concerning her father, and as the newest member of the royal family who wanted to follow protocol, the claimant sought advice from two senior members of the royal family on how best to address the situation.
“In accordance with the advice that she had received from the two members of the royal family, the claimant decided to write a private letter to her father in an attempt to get him to stop talking to the press.”
The letter is at the centre of her legal battle against UK media group, Associated Newspapers, the publishers of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnLine.
Meghan is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information, breaching the Data Protection Act and infringement of copyright stemming from five articles published in February 2019, which included extracts from the “private and confidential” letter.
She claims the way the letter was edited and published portrayed her in a negative light.
The court document also says she let an unnamed person – thought to be a friend – speak to royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the authors of biography Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.
While Meghan’s legal team argues that neither she nor Harry co-operated with the authors, the duchess in essence “briefed” the friend to prevent “further misinformation” being spread about her relationship with her father.
The court document states that the duchess “was concerned that her father’s narrative in the media that she had abandoned him and had not even tried to contact him (which was false) would be repeated . . .
“Accordingly, she indicated to a person whom she knew had already been approached by the authors that the true position could be communicated to the authors to prevent any further misinformation.”
Her lawyers insist the letter was not a media strategy but an attempt to protect her and her family, including the royals, from “further embarrassment to the institution” from her father.
In October last year Prince Harry launched an assault against the British press, saying he and Meghan were forced to take action against their “relentless propaganda” which had escalated over the past year and driven them to seek legal action.
Sources: guardian.co.uk, bbc.com, apnews.com, tatler.com