Meghan Markle’s father pulls out of wedding after staged paparazzi photo scandal

By @chelean on
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle attend a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, April 18, 2018.
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle attend a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, April 18, 2018. Yui Mok/Pool via Reuters

Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, has pulled out of her wedding to Prince Harry. Just a few days before the May 19 affair, the Daytime Emmy Award-winning retired lighting director said he suffered heart attack a week ago.

His participation in the highly anticipated event had remained a mystery until last week when the Kensington Palace confirmed that he was indeed attending his daughter’s wedding at St George Chapel at Windsor Castle. Meghan has tumultuous relationship with her half-siblings, Thomas’ children. Both Samantha Grant and Thomas Markle Jr were not invited.

Earlier this week, though, he was caught staging photos with paparazzi. The photos show him reading book about the UK and getting ready for the wedding.

Now, Thomas has backed out of the event, telling TMZ that he has decided not to walk Meghan down the aisle because he didn’t want to embarrass his daughter or the Royal family. He admitted to staging the photos, but he had a good reason for that, and it’s not about the money.

He said he allowed a photo agency to take pictures of him because he didn’t want a repeat of last year when he was ambushed by paparazzi who took unflattering photos of him. In the photos, he was seen buying beer and looking dishevelled and reclusive. He didn’t even buy the beer for himself, but for the guards at the place he was staying.

Since Meghan started dating Prince Harry, he has been offered up to US$100,000 (AU$133,000) for interviews, and he has declined all of them. But when the paparazzi agency approached him to stage photos, he figured there was no harm in it. He was offered money, but it’s nowhere near the reported US$100,000.

He now regrets agreeing to the pictures. He also said he suffered a heart attack a week ago. However, because he wanted to attend the wedding, he checked himself out of the hospital. Nevertheless, he has now decided not to go to save his daughter from further embarrassment.

Kensington Palace somewhat confirmed the new development, although it did not exactly say Thomas wouldn’t attend.

“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding,” the palace statement reads. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle at this difficult situation.”

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is divorced from Thomas, is still expected to attend. It is unclear if she would take his place in walking their daughter down the aisle for the wedding.

Join the Discussion