Thomas Markle recently vowed to take Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to court over the right to see his grandchildren.
The 77-year-old estranged father is yet to meet Archie and Lilibet – but could Thomas win the case?
Just days after his explosive admission, Entertainment Daily spoke to legal expert Lisa Harbour to find out what may happen.
What did Thomas Markle say about his grandchildren?
Last week, Thomas opened up about his grandchildren in an explosive interview with Fox News.
He shared: “I’m hoping Her Majesty the Queen and the people in England will stop and think about the mistakes and bad behaviour of their parents.
“I will be petitioning the California courts for the right to see my grandchildren in the very near future.”
Meghan reportedly cut contact with her father after she married Harry in May 2018.
Since then, the couple have welcomed two-year-old Archie and baby daughter Lilibet.
Could Thomas win visitation rights?
According to our expert, it appears Thomas is taking the appropriate first steps under UK jurisdiction.
Lisa, Associate and Family Law Executive at Jackson Lees, said: “As grandparents do not automatically have parental responsibility, they must first apply for permission to make an application to spend time with the children.
“Of course, the Courts will always act in what they believe to be the child’s best interest.
The Court would also consider how the matter has been played out in the media.
“They would consider the nature of the proposed order; the applicant’s connection to the child; their previous involvement in the child’s life; and any risk of potential disruption to the child’s life.”
But while Thomas may be keen to apply for visitation rights, he still has a long road ahead.
She added: “If permission were granted, the Court would then consider any application for a Child Arrangements Order on a case by case basis. It is important to remember that, at each stage, the child’s welfare is paramount.
“It’s likely that the Court would also consider how the matter has been played out in the media.
“For example, there may be concerns that he has negative feelings towards the parents and could undermine their care of the child.”
In addition, Lisa shared: “Consideration could also be given to how a grandparent’s behaviour could affect the parents’ mental health and the indirect impact of this on the child and/or their care of the child.”
Thomas and Meghan’s strained relationship
Meanwhile, Thomas has previously opened up to the media on several occasions.
The Duchess touched upon their relationship during her interview with Oprah Winfrey, explaining she felt brayed by her father.
She said: “I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child, so it’s hard for me to reconcile that.”
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