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Thomas Markle’s charitable gifts for destitute children on the Mexican border

Meghan Markle’s father prepared for Christmas 5,500 miles from his daughter by acting as Santa to deliver toys and treats to refugee children on the Mexican-U.S. border – and played happily with friends’ children in a sign of how he might behave if he gets to meet the royal grandchild she is expecting.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s father handed out toys, games and sweets to children at a hostel for homeless families just 200 yards from the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, in California.

And then he, two female friends and their three young daughters went to a rougher encampment, also on the Mexican side of the border, where destitute deportees from the U.S. have made their home – again to deliver festive cheer.

Meghan Markle’s father prepared for Christmas 5,500 miles from his daughter by delivering toys and treats to refugee children on the Mexican-U.S. border (he was pictured after the generous act in a supermarket parking lot in Mexico) 

Thomas Markle is pictured in his hometown of Rosarito on Christmas Eve, with his friends and their kids playing in a shopping trolley on the way to lunch at Caoba Bistro Bakery

Thomas Markle is pictured in his hometown of Rosarito on Christmas Eve, with his friends and their kids playing in a shopping trolley on the way to lunch at Caoba Bistro Bakery

The way he played happily with friends’ children in a sign of how he might behave if he gets to meet the royal grandchild she is expecting

The way he played happily with friends’ children in a sign of how he might behave if he gets to meet the royal grandchild she is expecting

The 74-year-old grandfather-of-five proved he was still fit and healthy he carried his friend's child through the parking lot

The 74-year-old grandfather-of-five proved he was still fit and healthy he carried his friend’s child through the parking lot

The little one, who was sporting a paper hat, looked delighted to be carried by Meghan Markle's father

The little one, who was sporting a paper hat, looked delighted to be carried by Meghan Markle’s father

The show of charitable giving may change perceptions of Markle Sr. in the wake of his rift with his daughter just before her wedding to Prince Harry

The show of charitable giving may change perceptions of Markle Sr. in the wake of his rift with his daughter just before her wedding to Prince Harry

The spontaneous gesture of generosity was welcomed at both of the stop-offs made by Markle, 74, and his friends.

At the first stop, the screams of delight from children could be heard from the street outside.

The group of friends had loaded up their SUV in Rosarito, the coastal town a few miles from Tijuana where Markle lives alone, and spent about 20 minutes at the hostel.

At the second drop-off, half a mile away, they came face-to-face with a growing border crisis which has made Tijuana not just the busiest border crossing with the U.S. but a city increasingly scarred by the fallout from tougher immigration enforcement in the U.S., at the border and beyond, under the Trump administration.

Marble went to a camp which has become known as La Mapa – The Map – where around 100 tents have been pitched on empty land, mostly hosting deportees from the U.S.

He and his friends spent 10 minutes handing out food and talking to people in the camp.

Most of those there are deportees from the U.S. who have been returned to Mexico via the Tijuana border crossing.

Most have stayed in the hope of crossing back into the U.S.

One of them, Luis Fernandez, 36, who had spent the last six years in Santa Ana, California, before being removed for an offense which he declined to reveal to DailyMail.com, said: ‘I have no place to go. I am just waiting things out before I decide to make another attempt to go back to the U.S. I have children [there].’

Markle and a friend were spotted getting gas before the trip to the hostel to visit underprivileged children

Markle and a friend were spotted getting gas before the trip to the hostel to visit underprivileged children

He arrived in the border town, dressed for cooler weather, as he prepared to act like Santa to surprise the kids

He arrived in the border town, dressed for cooler weather, as he prepared to act like Santa to surprise the kids

His friend held up some of the toys he was ready to present to the young boys and girls at the hostel

His friend held up some of the toys he was ready to present to the young boys and girls at the hostel

The Duchess of Cambridge’s father traveled to Tijuana where he handed out toys, games and sweets to children at a hostel for homeless families just 200 yards from the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, in California (pictured in Tijuana)

The Duchess of Cambridge’s father traveled to Tijuana where he handed out toys, games and sweets to children at a hostel for homeless families just 200 yards from the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, in California (pictured in Tijuana)

The group of friends had loaded up their SUV in Rosarito, the coastal town a few miles from Tijuana where Markle lives alone, and spent about 20 minutes at the hostel

The group of friends had loaded up their SUV in Rosarito, the coastal town a few miles from Tijuana where Markle lives alone, and spent about 20 minutes at the hostel

The show of charitable giving may change perceptions of Markle Sr. in the wake of his rift with his daughter just before her wedding to Prince Harry.

The 74-year-old was revealed to have staged paparazzi photographs in Rosarito, where he has lived alone since retiring as a Hollywood lighting director, posing with a guidebook to Britain and pretending to have measurements for a weddings suit.

The clumsily-staged photographs have led to Markle Sr. not speaking to his daughter since, and he has admitted he has never spoken to his new son-in-law.

But the humble surroundings in which Markle Sr. delivered Christmas toys and food to the desperate and the homeless present a new side to the Duchess of Cambridge’s father.

He had hinted at the plan for his Christmas in an interview earlier this month for the Mail on Sunday.

A father of three and already a grandfather of five – all of them grown adults, and all largely estranged from his older son and daughter – he also used an interview with MailOnline editor-at-large Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain to speak of his sadness that he has been ‘ghosted’ by his daughter.

After his charitable Christmas giving, Markle and his friends went for lunch in Rosarito, where he played happily with the children just like an involved grandfather.

In contrast to his face-to-face encounter with poverty and desperation at the U.S. border, the Duchess of Sussex spent Christmas Eve with the royal family at Sandringham, the Queen’s country estate in Norfolk.

After his charitable Christmas giving, Markle and his friends went for lunch in Rosarito, where he played happily with the children just like an involved grandfather 

After his charitable Christmas giving, Markle and his friends went for lunch in Rosarito, where he played happily with the children just like an involved grandfather 

The humble surroundings in which Markle Sr. delivered Christmas toys and food to the desperate and the homeless present a new side to the Duchess of Cambridge’s father

The humble surroundings in which Markle Sr. delivered Christmas toys and food to the desperate and the homeless present a new side to the Duchess of Cambridge’s father

She was due to spend Christmas morning at St Mary Magdalene’s Church before heading back to the house to spend the day with her royal relatives.

The visit to those living in deep poverty on the southern side of the U.S. border will inevitably be seen as having political dimensions.

Markle Sr. previously made clear his own negative view of Donald Trump, whose hardline rhetoric and policies on immigration are seen by critics as causing a crisis at the border.

His daughter has been compelled to avoid public political statements since her romance with Prince Harry began, but she previously spoke of her support for 2016 presidential Democratic loser Hillary Clinton.

However she has been public in her advocacy for the under-privileged in the UK, promoting a cookbook for those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster, a fire in public housing close to her current home in Kensington Palace which claimed 71 lives.

Her view of his charity with the destitute at the border remains to be seen, with their ugly public spirit continuing unabated, despite the expected arrival of his sixth grandchild in April.

This month his other two children, Samantha and Thomas Jr., pleaded publicly with Meghan to end the rift ‘before it is too late’. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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