A field guide to bride Meghan Markle's embarrassing relatives



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A field guide to bride Meghan Markle’s embarrassing relatives
Globe Staff
Markle’s relatives have gone so nutty in so many ways you almost have to admire their creativity.
By Beth Teitell
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If you have not been paying attention to what’s going on with Meghan Markle’s family ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry this Saturday you need to immediately step away from the Trump miniseries (word is guest star Rudy Giuliani will be returning for more episodes) and start live-streaming the pre-show to the royal wedding.

“Shenanigans” don’t even begin to get into it. Markle’s relatives have gone so nutty in so many ways you almost have to admire their creativity. It’s as if the whole mad clan — dad, estranged half sister, estranged half brother, a pot-selling nephew, a bitter uncle — have been lying in wait for this very moment.

Think of every problem you’ve ever had with a relative, and multiply it by Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, Hugh Rodham and Neil Bush, and you’ve got Markle’s kin, some of whom are showing up right now in London, even though they haven’t been invited to the wedding.


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Never mind half of them are trying to make a buck off her — it’s the bride’s day!

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Let’s start with Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, a 73-year-old former TV lighting director reportedly living a solitary life in Mexico. He’s been in and out of the wedding so many times he could be a Kardashian.

Dad was going to walk Meghan down the aisle at Windsor Castle. But then he got snagged staging his own paparazzi shots, a move that embarassed the palace, which had warned publishers to respect his privacy, so maybe he wasn’t going. Plus he had health issues.

But then it seemed like he was going, but now he’s not again, but not because of the photos, which it turns out he didn’t sell for as much as $135,000, despite media reports, but because of his heart problems, which he blames on his son, Thomas Markle, Jr., 51, a window fitter, who wrote a vicious letter about Meghan to her royal fiance. She’s a “jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage,” he informed the groom in a hand-written note, which he promptly shared with In Touch, as you do when your younger sister is engaged to marry a prince.

Meghan’s estranged half sister Samantha Markle, 53, (also known as Samantha Grant), a former model and actress, has also gone rogue, hatching the weird photo plan with dad — it was, she boasts, her idea — and calling her sister a “shallow social climber.”


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Samantha’s writing a book that was originally called “The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister,” although, to her credit, the title has been changed to the nicer, if less saleable, “A Tale of Two Sisters.”

She has not been invited to the wedding, but says she has a gift for her little sis, which she would love to deliver in person.

Let’s go back to Thomas Jr., the estranged half brother, for a moment, He’s got an ex-wife, who is also estranged from Meghan. She is Tracy Dooley, and she and her sons — Meghan’s nephews — have flown to London, where early reports said they were going to provide color commentary on a show called “Good Morning Britain
.” But if that was ever going to happen, it isn’t now, according to the Guardian.

But here’s what is happening: One of the nephews, Tyler Dooley, a licensed medical marijuana farmer in Oregon, is selling a strain of weed called Markle Sparkle.

They are also not invited to the wedding.


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Oh, wait — breaking news. Reports are coming in that Samantha, the bride’s estranged half sister, was in a car crash Thursday and has broken her ankle and fractured her knee after her boyfriend crashed their car into a concrete barrier.

To answer your question: No, the barrier had not been erected to keep various nefarious Markles from crashing Windsor Castle. It was in Samantha’s home state of Florida. She hasn’t yet issued a statement blaming Meghan, but just wait until the painkillers wear off.

Can we talk about Uncle Michael Markle? He is described as a 78-year-old retired US diplomat, although he seems to have forgotten the art of his profession. As he whined to the Mirror, he helped Meghan land a prestigious internship at the American Embassy in Buenos Aires when she was 20, even though she got her application in late, and now he’s being snubbed.

“It was not well thought out because no Markles I know are going to the wedding,” he told the Mirror. (Not well thought out? Can you imagine trying to do the seating chart with these characters? There aren’t enough tables in the world.)

You’d think all this might scare off the groom, except that he has his own embarrassing relatives. Dad Prince Charles was, after all, secretly recorded in 1992 telling his then-mistress, now second wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, that he wanted to be her tampon. And Prince Harry himself — who donned a Nazi outfit with a crude swastika armband at a private party in 2005 — could be his own embarrassing relative.

As for Meghan, a royal source tells People that she “is excited about her wedding. She is with her mother and with her best friends, and is preparing for one of the most magical days of her life.”

One can only hope.

Beth Teitell can be reached at beth.teitell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @BethTeitell.


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