Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Takes the Blame for Her Dad's Staged Paparazzi Photos

Meghan Markle's 73-year-old father, Thomas Markle, worked with paparazzi to stage photos of himself preparing for the royal wedding.

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(Image credit: Coleman-Rayner)

Update 5/14:

 Meghan Markle's half-sister, Samantha Markle, claims it was her idea for her father to stage the paparazzi pics of him preparing for his daughter's wedding. According to the Daily Mail, she advised him to do it to paint him "in a positive light" before he walks Meghan down the aisle on May 19. In a private tweet the Mail screenshotted, Markle admitted her involvement:

"The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault. The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and and the benefit of the royal family. We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money @KensingtonRoyal."

Kensington Palace has not responded to the reports and Markle's dad is still expected to walk Meghan down the aisle this Saturday.

Original story 5/13: 

In less than a week, Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry and officially become a member of the royal family. Just days before her wedding, some disappointing news about her own family has surfaced.

You know those adorable photos of Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, preparing for her wedding and his trip to Britain for the occasion? Most of them were reportedly staged, according to the Daily Mail. The British publication obtained security footage that appears to show Thomas Markle working with photographer Jeff Rayner to stage a picture of him surfing the web for pictures of his daughter and Prince Harry.


In the video, Markle, 73, and Rayner can be seen entering an internet cafe, paying for service, and adjusting the computer monitor to get the best photo. The photos of Markle looking at pictures of Harry and Meghan online are not the only ones alleged to be staged.

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(Image credit: Coleman-Rayner)

Per Daily Mail: "The faked images include Mr Markle apparently:

  • Being measured for a suit to wear to the wedding – in fact the "tailor" was an assistant at a party goods shop recruited for the job as the suit hire store the photographer planned to use was closed.
  • Being caught browsing a book of British landmarks in a branch of Starbucks – although he actually arrived at the cafe with the photographer, and set up the shot.
  • Working out with weights to get in shape for the big day – but the pictures appear to have been taken on a waste tip, an unlikely place to exercise but away from prying eyes."

As Daily Mail notes, Markle is wearing the same clothes in each of the suspicious photos, suggesting they may have all been taken on the same day. The pictures have been sold to publications around the world, reportedly netting profits of as much as £100,000. It's not clear if Markle was paid for his participation or not.

Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.