Neat handwriting shows Meghan ‘expected’ letter to be published, newspaper says

Lawyers for The Mail On Sunday and Mail Online have claimed that the Duchess of Sussex's "immaculate" handwriting in a private letter to her father is proof she intended it to be published.

The two outlets are in a legal battle with the duchess over the publication of the letter which she wrote to Thomas Markle in August 2018 about a series of allegations he had made about her in the press.

Meghan's action against Associated Newspapers Limited, the Mail On Sunday and Mail Online's parent company, alleges the publication of the letter amounts to misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.

But, in its defence, the company has said the duchess's care over the letter's presentation indicated she intended it to be disclosed to the public or believed that it would be.

Documents submitted to the High Court stated: "It is to be inferred that the letter was written and sent by the claimant with a view to it being read by third parties and/or disclosed to the public, alternatively knowing that the same was very likely."

It continued: "It is apparent from the letter that the claimant took great care over its presentation.

"The letter appears to have been being immaculately copied out by the claimant in her own elaborate handwriting from a previous draft.

"There are no crossings-out or amendments as there usually are with a spontaneous draft.

"It is to be inferred also from the care the claimant took over the presentation of the letter that she anticipated it being disclosed to and read by third parties."

Before landing her role in hit US TV series Suits, Meghan supplemented her income by teaching calligraphy and also by creating custom invitations for weddings and other events.

In an interview with Esquire in February 2018, she said she had discovered her talent for calligraphy at the Catholic girls' school she attended as a teenager.

She said: "I went to an all-girls Catholic school for like six years during the time when kids actually had handwriting class.

"I've always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well.

"What it evolved into was my pseudo-waitressing job when I was auditioning.

"I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy."

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(L-R) Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a reception to mark the 50th Anniversary of the investiture of The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in London on March 5, 2019. - The Queen hosted a reception to mark the Fiftieth Anniversary of the investiture of Britain's Prince Charles, her son, as the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles was created The Prince of Wales aged 9 on July 26th 1958 and was formally invested with the title by Her Majesty The Queen on July 1st 1969 at Caernarfon Castle. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) talks with Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex after the wedding of Britain's Princess Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on October 12, 2018. (Photo by Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read AARON CHOWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. The 100th birthday of the RAF, which was founded on on 1 April 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new Queen's Colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. The 100th birthday of the RAF, which was founded on on 1 April 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new Queen's Colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 1O: Queen Elizabeth ll and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to view a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF) on July 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
TOPSHOT - (L-R) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II pose for a picture during the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony on June 26, 2018 at Buckingham Palace in London. (Photo by John Stillwell / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) talks with Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex before the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony on June 26, 2018 at Buckingham Palace in London. (Photo by John Stillwell / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)
International didgeridoo player William Barton performs during the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019, as members of the Royal Family, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge,, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, listen. - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been the Head of the Commonwealth throughout her reign. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II attend day 1 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2018 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II attend day 1 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2018 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
WIDNES, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II (accompanied by Samantha Cohen) attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
WIDNESS, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widness, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
WIDNESS, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widness, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
TOPSHOT - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to the Storyhouse in Chester, Cheshire on June 14, 2018. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read PHIL NOBLE/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England. The Queen's Young Leaders Programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates the achievements of young people from across the Commonwealth working to improve the lives of people across a diverse range of issues including supporting people living with mental health problems, access to education, promoting gender equality, food scarcity and climate change. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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The court documents submitted by Associated Newspapers Limited further claimed the duchess's decision to keep a copy of the letter indicated she intended to share it with third parties in the future.

It said: "The claimant kept a copy of the letter.

"It is to be inferred she did so in order that she could use it herself, including by disclosing its contents."

Currently there is no date set for the trial.

It may be months before any trial takes place and there may be a series of hearings beforehand to deal with preliminary legal issues.

The parties may settle the claim out of court at any stage of the proceedings and, if they do, there is likely to be a statement made in open court which tends to include an apology from the defendant.

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