‘Harassed’ father of the bride Thomas Markle made a secret deal with the paparazzi
MEGHAN Markle’s father will face awkward meetings with the Queen and other Royal Family members this week after it emerged he colluded with the paparazzi to stage supposedly “snatched” photos while complaining about unwanted media attention.
Thomas Markle, who still plans to walk his daughter down the aisle at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, arranged for photos of himself worth up to £100,000 as Meghan and his future son-in-law pleaded with the media to leave him alone, claiming he was being harassed.
Mr Markle, a bankrupt ex-Hollywood lighting technician living in Rosarito Beach in Mexico, is due to fly into Britain this week and meet Prince Harry for the first time.
Kensington Palace has said the bride’s father, 73, and her mother Doria Ragland, who divorced him when Meghan was six, will spend time getting to know the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Their meetings come after conclusive proof from CCTV and witnesses that Mr Markle worked with a Los Angeles-based British photographer, Jeff Rayner, on a series of pictures allegedly showing him preparing for the wedding.
They included images of him supposedly being measured for his wedding suit in what purported to be a suit hire shop. In fact, the “tailor” was a 17-year-old student working in a shop supplying tables, chairs and bunting for parties, claims a Sunday newspaper who spoke to him.
It reported the suit hire shop was closed so Mr Markle paid him to act as a tailor.
Other pictures taken by Mr Rayner in March and drip fed to UK newspapers included one of him studying a book of UK landmarks and another of him working out with weights to get fit for the wedding.
Kensington Palace, which claimed on Friday the photos of Mr Markle were not staged and were part of media harassment of the bride’s father, did not comment yesterday.
Privately royal officials appear to accept tacitly Mr Markle had colluded with the photographer but Kensington Palace still sent out letters via the press regulator IPSO to the media at the weekend complaining he and his former wife were being harassed.
It is not clear if Mr Markle was paid for the photographs but, if so, he may have been trying to raise money for his flights and stay in Britain.
His daughter Samantha Markle, 53, and son Thomas Jr – Meghan’s half-siblings from his earlier marriage – have claimed the millionaire actress had been reluctant to help her father out with his financial difficulties.
Samantha has alleged: “He needed some help and by his report, twice, she flatly refused.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
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