Thomas Markle 'filled with joy' after daughter Meghan's pregnancy announcement

Thomas Markle is "filled with love, joy, and happiness" following the news his daughter, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is expecting a baby.

The 37-year-old royal is set to welcome her first child with husband Prince Harry in Spring next year, and her father - who has previously hit the headlines for lashing out at his daughter, claiming she would be "nothing" without him - has broken his silence on the news, stating he is "proud" to be set to become a grandfather.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday newspaper, the 74-year-old former lighting director said: "I was sitting in line waiting to cross the border when I heard the baby announcement on the car radio. The first thing I thought about was holding Meghan in my arms as a newborn 37 years ago.

"I thought, 'My baby is having a baby.' It was a very proud moment. I was filled with love, joy and happiness for both my beautiful daughter and my son-in-law. A new baby is a blessing and I look forward to seeing a little Meghan or a little Harry."

His comments come after Meghan's half-sister Samantha - who has also been outspokenly critical of the former 'Suits' star - hoped their father would be included in the tot's life, after he was left out of the initial pregnancy announcement.

She said: "I would hope that - for the sake of the baby, the family, the world and my dad - that leaving him out of the statement was not intentional.

"I hope my dad is included and at a proper time. If he is excluded, I won't be happy. It is in the best interests of the baby for my dad to be included.

"A baby changes everything and softens everyone. I would only hope that there would be some adjustment or some way of including him."

In the statement confirming Meghan's pregnancy, her mother Doria Ragland was mentioned, but Thomas' name was kept out of the message after he was said to have embarrassed his daughter and 34-year-old Harry after being paid to stage paparazzi photographs before their wedding.