Meghan's foolish father has no one to blame but himself for missing the biggest day of his daughter's life
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... amily.html
Last week, I felt rather sorry for Meghan Markle’s father Thomas.
He’d been photographed in an internet café peering at photos of his daughter and Prince Harry, then being measured up for his wedding day suit.
This followed other recent paparazzi pictures of him in Starbucks, looking at British castles, and working out on a dirt track with a resistance band.
Notwithstanding my lengthy career as a journalist, on a human level it was hard not to feel a pang of compassion for a man who had sought a life of reclusive solitude but now finds himself at the centre of the biggest celebrity news story in the world.
The reality is that Thomas Markle’s life, like that of many others close to Meghan, changed irrevocably too when she decided to marry her Prince.
The Guardian newspaper was outraged the photos had been published at all.
‘Guys, it’s private!’ raged one of the paper’s senior writers Zoe Williams. ‘Nobody wants their thought processes played out in real time, with photographs.’
Williams said this was the perfect illustration of actor Hugh Grant’s complaint about the tabloid press prying into the private lives of ordinary people. She fumed: ‘These publications are missing the chip that asks: “How would I like it, if someone did this to me?”
It turns out Mr Markle did to himself!
Yesterday’s Mail on Sunday newspaper revealed he has been colluding with British paparazzo Jeff Rayner who sold them for a hefty six-figure sum from selling the carefully staged pictures around the world.
Today, Thomas Markle admitted he was paid to do the pictures, telling TMZ he took the money to recast his image.
He also sensationally revealed he will no longer be attending the wedding on Saturday, and claimed to have had a heart attack six days ago but checked himself out of hospital.
Prince Harry will be absolutely furious at this bombshell revelation.
He’s a young man who can barely hide his contempt for the media, still harbouring deep-rooted resentment of the part the paparazzi played in the death of his mother Princess Diana.
Harry and Prince William both believe she would still be alive if she hadn’t been hounded and pursued everywhere she went by packs of photographers.
And perhaps they’re right.
But they remain heirs to the throne of the British monarchy and as such, their lives are of huge global public interest.
Harry and Meghan’s wedding is a massive PR bonanza for the royal family, and they’ve been milking it like ravenous dairy farmers.
Every week has brought new titbits of information to keep the global press pot boiling, including the recent revelation that Thomas Markle would walk his daughter down the aisle.
It doesn’t take a genius to know this news would instantly lead to a massive increase in media interest in Mr Markle.
After all, in five days time he was due to become the most famous father-of-the-bride on the planet.
Yet behind the scenes, there have been frantic efforts to stop the media from reporting on him.
Several weeks ago, Kensington Palace issued a stern warning to British media outlets demanding Mr Markle be left alone.
An official letter, written by Harry’s personal communications secretary Jason Knauf, described how Mr Markle had been ‘followed and harassed’ by photographers and journalists. The letter, obviously dictated by the Prince, urged newspapers not to publish any photos of Mr Markle.
Last week, Mr Markle’s own representatives also wrote to editors and to British newspaper watchdog the Independent Press Standards Organisation claiming Mr Markle was suffering as a result of press intrusion and insisting he didn’t want to take part in photo calls or interviews.
Yet it now transpires that Mr Markle has been invading his own privacy and allowing the paparazzi to sell staged photos of him to the world’s media.
Some of the detail of how these photos were staged was comically embarrassing.
In one image, a young tailor is seen helping Mr Markle measure up for his suit. But he wasn’t a tailor at all; he was a 17-year-old student recruited from a nearby shop to pretend to be one.
Mr Markle had even brought the measuring tape.
So I’m afraid the harsh truth is that Thomas Markle has revealed himself to be both shockingly naïve and shockingly greedy.
This development will especially hurt Meghan because so many of her other family members have already behaved like the worst kind of vile, dysfunctional, money-grabbing misfits in the run up to her marriage.
Her estranged half-brother Thomas Jr. even recently published a handwritten letter he sent to Prince Harry urging him to ditch his sister.
‘As more time passes,’ this repulsive twerp wrote, ‘it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history. Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you.’
He called her a ‘jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family.’
Thomas Jr., who hasn’t seen or spoken to Meghan for seven years, has a history of violent alcohol and substance abuse.
In 2012, he held a gun to a woman’s head during a drunken argument.
Last year, he again brandished a gun in a second drunken brawl with another woman, his fiancée Darlene Blount.
And on New Year’s Eve 2017, he was thrown in jail for two days after yet another drunken brawl with Ms Blount.
Despite all this, he’s still desperate to attend the wedding.
It doesn’t seem to have crossed his douchebag mind that the main reason he won’t be attending is because UK border control almost certainly wouldn’t let him into the country.
Then there’s Meghan’s ghastly half-sister Samantha Grant, who recently changed her name back to Markle specifically to cash in on the wedding.
Her relentless global press tour has culminated in her writing a book, The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
Twice-divorced, wheelchair bound Samantha, who hasn’t seen Meghan for 10 years, told the Mirror newspaper her sister was ‘shallow’, ‘narcissistic’ and addicted to ‘social climbing.’
But that didn’t stop her begging: ‘I’d be lying to say I wouldn’t be hurt if I didn’t get an invite but that’s really up to her.’
If someone trashed the woman I was going to marry, they’d have less chance of getting an invite than Kim Jong Un.
Samantha’s own daughter Noelle said her mother was ‘abusive’ and a ‘liar’ and defended Meghan: ‘She is very sweet, very genuine, nothing like my mother.’
That’s been my experience of Meghan too, and I feel incredibly sorry for her that her family are betraying her so badly.
But cynical, commercially-driven rantings by estranged half-siblings are one thing.
It’s quite another to discover your own father has let you down so spectacularly badly right before the wedding.
In an Instagram post on Father’s Day in 2016, Meghan gushed over him:
‘Happy Father’s Day, daddy. I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world. Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films and club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose. I love you. Xo Bean.’
It’s shame he didn’t teach himself the importance of discretion and loyalty.
By taking the paparazzi shilling, and now missing the wedding, Thomas Markle broke his future son-in-law’s trust, and his little girl’s heart.