Thomas Markle says his daughter Duchess Meghan 'cut me off completely'

Duchess Meghan Markle is gearing up to celebrate her first birthday as a member of the royal family on Aug 4.

But her estranged father, Thomas Markle, doubts he'll even be able to reach her.

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Markle, 74, told London's  Daily Mail on Sunday that his 36-year-old daughter has removed him from her life entirely as punishment for staging fake paparazzi pictures before the royal wedding and speaking critically of the royal family.

"I'm really hurt that she's cut me off completely," he told the Daily Mail during a nine-hour interview over three days. "I have no way of contacting my daughter."

The Emmy Award-winning Hollywood lighting director, now retired, says he hasn't spoken to the Duchess of Sussex in 10 weeks. Markle claims that the phone number for her personal aides at the palace have been disconnected.

Markle,  who famously skipped his daughter's royal wedding in May, said he suffers from heart problems and is lucky to be alive. "Perhaps it would be easier for Meghan if I died," he said.

He worries the rift between his daughter may never heal, but "I won't be silenced."

During an interview with ITV's "Good Morning Britain" program in June, Markle told hosts Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan that he "absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle," though he was proud that Prince Charles took his place.

Markle apologized for staging the fake pictures, which included him trying on suits and reading books about the royal family leading up to the wedding, but broke royal protocol during that interview by discussing his son-in-law's political views.

Markle said   Prince Harry expressed an openness to President Donald Trump and Brexit, recalling a conversation he had with his daughter's then-fiance. He also predicted a royal baby won't be far in the future for the couple.

He believes his candid conversation led to his exile: "How tragic is that, to deprive a child of its grandfather because I said a few things critical of the royal family?" he told The Daily Mail.

Despite the strained relationship, Markle plans to send his daughter a birthday card.

"Just wishing her birthday greetings, nothing more.'"

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