Meghan Markle’s dad won't attend wedding after paparazzi scandal
In a sudden change of plans just days before the royal wedding, Meghan Markle’s father Thomas will reportedly not attend the nuptials this Saturday so as not to “embarrass” his daughter after it was revealed he staged a series of paparazzi photos.
Thomas Markle, 73, told TMZ that he was set to walk Meghan down the aisle — and had even checked himself out of the hospital after a heart attack last week to do so — but has backed out of his duties after the scandal.
The former television lighting director was photographed in March completing various tasks in preparation for the wedding, including thumbing through a book of British landmarks, preparing his suit for the big day, and looking at photos of his daughter and Prince Harry’s engagement on the computer at a Mexican café.
But additional photos published by the Daily Mail last week reveal the photos were staged with the help of photographer Jeff Rayner, who trailed Markle to the café and arranged the snaps.
Thomas Markle said he had a heart attack last week, but had checked himself out of the hospital so he could go to the royal wedding. (NGRE / BACKGRID)
The royal-in-law-to-be told TMZ he chose to hire an agency to photograph him completing the tasks in a push to help improve his image.
Markle said he’d been unhappy with the previous paparazzi shots circulating, which featured him buying beer and looking “disheveled and reclusive.”
He said he decided to take matters into his own hands when a paparazzi agency approached him — though he now says he regrets the photos, which he deemed “stupid and hammy.”
Despite Markle’s admission, Meghan’s half-sister Samantha Markle, who has ripped her sibling apart in the press as a fame-hungry social climber who shunned her family upon achieving fame, later took responsibility for the scandal.
“I’m entirely the culprit. I said to him to show the world, ‘I’m getting in shape and getting healthy,’ so I suggested it to benefit him and the royal family,” she told the Daily Mail Monday. “It was not money-motivated. I have no idea (if he was paid) but if he was it would have been a pittance.”
Paparazzi has long been a sore subject for the Royal Family, as it was paparazzi photographers chasing down shots of Princess Diana that caused her fatal 1997 car crash.