Thomas Markle has spoken out after his estranged daughter gave birth to his grandchild.
The former Hollywood lighting director has allegedly not spoken to Markle, 39, since she married Harry, 36, in 2018.
“I am very pleased with the announcement of the safe and healthy delivery of my new granddaughter, and I wish her and her mother all my love and best wishes,” said the 76-year-old in a statement obtained by U.K.’s DailyMail on Monday.
A U.K. tabloid previously published a private letter Meghan Markle (right) wrote to her father, former Hollywood lighting director Thomas Markle (left). (Getty Images/Mega)
According to the outlet, the patriarch lives 70 miles away from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The baby girl was born at 11:40 a.m. at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, and weighed in at 7 lbs, 11 oz, a spokesperson for the couple said. The child is eighth in line to the British throne.
“Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family,” the couple wrote in a statement that accompanied the birth announcement on Sunday.
The baby is “more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe,” they continued.
The former American actress and the British prince are already parents to a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, 2.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a baby girl on Friday. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images)
The father and daughter’s relationship originally became strained when he was caught staging paparazzi photos in Mexico leading up to the royal wedding. While he was set to walk his daughter down the aisle, he famously announced days before the ceremony that he could no longer attend after suffering a heart attack.
Harry’s father Prince Charles took his place.
Things continued to worsen after Thomas continuously gave interviews in which he criticized Markle, as well as the royal family.
In March of this year, Thomas said he regretted the stage photos that eventually led to the fallout.
“I wish I hadn’t done the whole thing but here’s the other side… It’s like no one took any time to protect any member of our family,” Thomas told ITV’s “Good Morning Britain.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter was named after Prince Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and his late mother Princess Diana (pictured here). (Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Image)
“We were attacked by the press every day – my oldest daughter, my son, myself, my grandchildren – all of us were attacked by the press,” he continued. “Nobody was there to care for us. No one looked after us.”
Thomas claimed he participated in the photoshoot because he believed it would improve his reputation after the press “were making me an alcoholic, they were calling me names, they were talking about how I dress.”
“So, yes, I went through this deal with this [photographer] who was going to make me look better. Maybe I got sucked into it but I believed him and I thought it was going to work. It didn’t work, of course. When it was exposed, I said, ‘What’s happening?'” Thomas continued. “Well, they waited three days before the marriage and released the photos. When that happened, I said, ‘How’d this happen? What do I do?’ He said, ‘Just deny it. It’ll go away in one day.’ It didn’t go away. It hasn’t gone away yet.”
In the same conversation, Thomas Markle explained his reasoning for talking to the press amid his estrangement from the duchess.
“Because they’re not talking to me. When they decide to talk to me, I’ll stop talking to the press,” Thomas said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex currently reside in California with their growing family. (Reuters)
Thomas added he would love to hear from the couple.
“In spite of all that, I still apologize. I’m apologizing today again,” he said.
Thomas claimed that he feels he’s been “pushed around and knocked down for one thing I did.” He called the photoshoot his “one big mistake.”
“I apologized for it as many times I possibly can. However, I love my daughter very much. Had I known she was having psychological problems, I would have been there for her. Biggest problem here is she’s pretty much ghosted all of her family on her mother’s side and on my side. She really had no one to reach out to. She would have had us if she kept us,” he concluded.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began last year over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the duchess. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.