Days before he was due to fly to London for the first time for the Queen 's Platinum Jubilee, the Duchess of Sussex 's father Thomas Markle has suffered a major stroke that has seen him lose his speech
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The Duchess of Sussex’s father was in a US hospital last night after suffering a suspected major stroke.

Thomas Markle, 77, was struck down, losing his speech, a week before he had been due to fly to London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Last night it was not known whether Meghan, 40, who is estranged from him, was planning to go to his bedside.

Mr Markle, a former TV lighting director, was taken by ambulance to a clinic in Chula Vista, California – only a few hours’ drive from Meghan and Harry’s home in Montecito.

He had earlier been admitted to hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, where he was seen arriving with an oxygen mask on his face and flanked by paramedics. A video posted on US gossip website TMZ showed him on a stretcher with a pale face and one hand on his chest.

Mr Markle’s daughter Samantha, 57, told MailOnline: ‘My father is recovering in hospital. We ask for privacy for the family, for his health and wellbeing. He just needs peace and rest.

‘Godspeed. We are praying. He just needs some rest.’

Days before he was due to fly to London for the first time for the Queen 's Platinum Jubilee, the Duchess of Sussex 's father Thomas Markle has suffered a major stroke that has seen him lose his speech

Days before he was due to fly to London for the first time for the Queen ‘s Platinum Jubilee, the Duchess of Sussex ‘s father Thomas Markle has suffered a major stroke that has seen him lose his speech

A high-profile American website has received information from within the hospital, meaning news of his stroke was about to break (pictured: Thomas Markle with Meghan)

A high-profile American website has received information from within the hospital, meaning news of his stroke was about to break (pictured: Thomas Markle with Meghan)

Mr Markle has had a difficult relationship with Meghan (pictured together) and her husband Harry – whom he has accused of being 'snotty'

Mr Markle has had a difficult relationship with Meghan (pictured together) and her husband Harry – whom he has accused of being ‘snotty’

His blood pressure had been high in the preceding days, it was said. It means that Mr Markle will miss the celebrations in London just as he missed Meghan’s wedding to Harry in 2018 after suffering a heart attack.

Mr Markle, who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, was taken by ambulance across the border to the US at around 9.30pm on Monday.

His son Thomas Jr, 55, was with him and is at the hospital near San Diego, while Samantha was last night said to be flying in from her home in Florida.

In the footage posted online, Mr Markle is seen lying on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask.

Two paramedics try to lift him while speaking in Spanish and ask him what his name is. Somebody behind the camera responds that his name is Thomas.

Speaking in English, one of the paramedics says: ‘I’m going to be your paramedic. You’re going to the US.’

Mr Markle was due in London next week and was to have been a guest on TV during coverage of the jubilee celebrations. The trip would have fulfilled his ‘long-held wish to visit Windsor Castle’, MailOnline journalist Dan Wootton wrote.

His health, however, seemly certain to have dashed that hope, just as it scuppered Mr Markle’s plans to walk Meghan down the aisle in 2018 – he was forced to pull out after suffering a heart attack.

He underwent surgery to repair the damage and Prince Charles stood in for him, performing the father of the bride’s duties during the wedding service.

Mr Markle has had a difficult relationship with Meghan and her husband Harry – whom he has accused of being ‘snotty’.

Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry are pictured as she presents him with a trophy after his polo victory

Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry are pictured as she presents him with a trophy after his polo victory

He and his youngest daughter have not spoken since before the wedding, when they were texting while he lay in bed at the hospital, he has claimed.

According to Mr Markle, at that point they ‘pretty much said goodbye’ and Harry told him: ‘If you had listened to me, this wouldn’t have happened to you.’ The Sussexes were said to have been angry at Mr Markle selling photos of himself to a paparazzi agency in the run up to the wedding.

Last month he announced he was flying to the UK for the royal celebrations and said he wanted to meet Harry and Meghan, who will be attending, along with their son Archie, three, and 11-month-old daughter Lilibet.

Mr Markle said he also wanted to meet Prince Charles and joked that they had both been ‘ghosted by our own children’.

In her interview with Oprah Winfrey in March last year, Meghan talked about the betrayal she felt when it emerged that her father had been working with a photo agency. She said: ‘We called my dad and I asked him [if he talked to the tabloids] and he said ‘No, absolutely not’ and I said, ‘You know the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story, but if they do this once we’re not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our own kids one day. I just need you to tell me and if you tell me the truth we can help.’ ‘

According to Meghan, her father ‘wasn’t able to do that’ and she said his refusal to answer was ‘so hard for me to reconcile’.

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