Thomas Markle has been estranged from his youngest daughter Meghan Markle since shortly after her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018.

Meghan Markle and Thomas Markle.

Thomas Markle has never met neither Prince Archie or Princess Lilibet. (Image: Getty/7News)

Thomas Markle is likely “very sad” to be missing out on yet another special family occasion because of his strained relationship with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, a royal expert claimed.

The former television lighting director has been effectively estranged from his youngest daughter since after her wedding to Harry in 2018.

He was due to fly to the UK to walk her down the aisle, but news of an agreement with the paparazzi paired with a heart attack days before the ceremony prevented him from attending.

Markle is not believed to have seen the Duchess of Sussex since – and he has repeatedly complained about never meeting his grandchildren, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

With Lilibet’s birthday looming, royal expert Phil Dampier spoke of the distress Mr Markle shares with King Charles as he misses out on yet another special occasion.

Princess Lilibet.

Princess Lilibet Diana will be turning three on June 4. (Image: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Misan Harriman)

Speaking to The Sun’s Royal Exclusive show, Mr Dampier said: “It is amazing that she’s already three but there is this underlying sadness of course because of the rift that the King is not seeing his grandchildren.

“I think he’s only met Lilibet possibly once and Archie only a couple of times and they are seventh and eighth in line to the throne, growing up in California on the West Coast of America with American accents and they just don’t see them.”

During her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, the Duchess claimed her father had lied to her about speaking to the British press in what she dubbed a “betrayal” she couldn’t “reconcile.”

Mr Dampier added: “So that is the underlying sadness and whether they’re going to one day heal this rift, we don’t know, but at the moment I don’t think there’s much prospect.”

The royal expert also argued Harry and Meghan face the prospect of intense questioning from Lilibet and Archie when they are older on the lack of contact with both families.

He said: “When they get a bit older, are they going to start asking questions ‘How have we got to this situation’, ‘How is it I don’t see my grandparents’, ‘How is it I don’t have anything to do with the Royal Family?’

“When they get old, that’s probably when the problem is going to start and it’s going to be difficult for them.”

Lilibet, who will be turning three on June 4, is believed to have met the King in person only once when her parents brought her and Archie to the UK to celebrate the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

While Archie was born in the UK and met his grandfather on multiple occasions, he was barely six months old when he moved to North America with his parents.