Before tying the knot, Prince Harry had implored his soon-to-be father-in-law to pick up the phone and call him.
But his desperate plea to speak with Thomas Markle in the days before his wedding to Meghan went unanswered.
In a series of private text messages revealed in court documents filed at the High Court in the UK, Harry warned Mr Markle that any decision to speak with the media “will backfire”.
Mr Markle was expected to walk his daughter down the aisle at Windsor Palace on May 19, 2018, with paparazzi pictures published by the Mail on Sunday tabloid showing him preparing for the couple’s star-studded wedding.
Harry had urged Mr Markle not to speak with the media as “only we can help u (sic)”.
The messages were sent using Meghan’s phone.
“Tom, Harry again! Really need to speak to u. U do not need to apologise, we understand the circumstances but “going public” will only make the situation worse,” Harry said in one text message.
“So please call me so I can explain. Meg and I are not angry, we just need to speak to u. Thanks. Oh any speaking to the press WILL backfire, trust me Tom. Only we can help u, as we have been trying from day 1.”
Part of evidence tendered by the royals in legal action against a UK tabloid media, they provide a rare insight into the personal lives of the royals, who fiercely guard their privacy.
The Duchess of Sussex is suing publisher Associated Newspapers, alleging it breached her privacy by printing a letter she sent to her father to address the rift between them caused by events on the eve of Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
Mr Markle had overshadowed the run-up to the couple’s celebrations at Windsor Castle in May 2018 when he decided at the last minute not to attend. It followed news that he had staged photos with a paparazzo.
He has since given a number of interviews to British tabloids and broadcasters, saying he had been ignored by his daughter.
Meghan’s lawyers said despite their pleas prior the royal wedding, Mr Markle instead issued a statement through the Los Angeles-based celebrity website TMZ.
The duchess missed a call from her father at 4.57am on the morning of the ceremony and has not received any calls or messages from him since then, the court papers said.
The release of the High Court papers comes hours after Meghan and Harry announced they would no longer work with four of Britain’s major tabloid newspapers, which they accuse of false and invasive coverage.
Meghan’s lawyers said tabloid newspapers, particularly the Mail, had harassed and humiliated her father, contributed towards the fallout between them, and that the Mail had misquoted from the letter she sent him.
“It was the defendant’s publication of these contents, and the highly manipulated, sensational and deliberately inflammatory way in which this was done that so deeply upset her, not the fact that the newspaper published ‘her father’s side of the dispute’ (a ‘dispute’ which the defendant itself created),” the papers said.
“It is the defendant’s (unlawful) actions that give rise to the claimant’s claim, and not her father’s conduct.”
Associated Newspapers issued a 44-page defence of its story and use of the letter in January, saying unnamed friends of Meghan had put her version of events in interviews with the US magazine People and Mr Markle had the right to put his side.
It argued that given Meghan’s royal status, there was legitimate public interest in her personal and family relationships.