And he’s joked that he plans to send the newborn a cute T-shirt emblazoned with “Welcome to Tijuana”. Thomas Markle, 74, told a friend he will follow the happy event on Mexican TV because he isn’t expecting a call from Meghan, Prince Harry or even one of their aides. The retired Hollywood lighting director was not even aware the couple have set up an Instagram account where they will post photos of their newly born infant but insists he will become an avid follower “like everyone else”.
Mr Markle’s friend said yesterday: “He is genuinely thrilled that his daughter is expecting her first child later this month. He’s been looking around baby stores for an appropriate gift to send.
“He even joked that the new arrival was likely to be showered with expensive baby items from Tiffany……with a little ‘Welcome to Tijuana’ t-shirt from him in the middle.
“Joking aside though, the distance in miles and emotions between him and Meghan hasn’t stopped him feeling proud for her and his new grandchild. He aims to sink a couple of beers in his local bar when he or she is born.
“But he’d give anything to meet the new arrival in person and hopes he can prove to his daughter that their relationship is worth a second chance and he should have a place in their lives.”
Mr Markle’s friend added: “He is still clinging to the hope his daughter will call him at some stage to share her happiness.
He has said, ‘What else can I do?’ He is bitterly upset by the thought of not being able to meet his new grandchild.”
He also says he intends to “wait and see” the baby’s gender before buying a card or a gift but his friend revealed: “His big dream is getting invited to the christening or some other family event where he’ll be able to hold the baby.
“Sadly, he seriously doubts that will happen because of all the bad blood between Meghan and almost all her relatives, including him.
But he says he isn’t giving up hope they can reconcile, with the baby’s arrival marking a new chapter in all their lives.”
Mr Markle is more out of favour with his daughter than ever before after making public a poignant letter she sent him last August – three months after their bitter rift began – that opened with the words: “Daddy, It is with a heavy heart that I write this, not understanding why you have chosen to take this path, turning a blind eye to the pain you’re causing.”
The letter berates Mr Markle repeatedly, and Meghan insists she and Prince Harry did all they could to help him, even after he pulled out of last year’s Royal Wedding at the last minute.
It also chastises the double Emmy-winning former TV lighting director, who now lives in a ramshackle Mexican seaside town, for granting media interviews while failing to respond to her pleas for peace.