Weddings are all about love, but the lead-up to the big day is notorious for creating behind-the-scenes drama. When the ceremony (and the lead-up) takes place on a world stage, the pressure—and gaffes—take on even more operatic proportions.
The May 19thwedding of Meghan Markle—a divorced, biracial American actress—to Prince Harry, sixth in line for the English throne, has inspired endless fascination and coverage because of its historical-feeling implications.
Over the weekend, a new installment in the saga unfurled. The Daily Mail reported that Meghan’s father Thomas, who was set to walk her down the aisle this Saturday until this latest scandal broke, reportedly staged photographs with a celebrity snapper who was paid tens of thousands of dollars (which many presume he shared with the father-of-the-bride). The shots showed Thomas getting fitted for a suit and working out, among other wholesome-looking activities. On Monday, Meghan’s half sister Samantha, who isn’t invited to the wedding, took the fall for her father. Hours later, Thomas revealed mid-scandal that he would not attend the wedding. He reportedly suffered a heart attack six days ago, according to The Daily Mail, which added that he is doing much better. He also reportedly told the paper that he did not stage the photos for money, but because he did not want to appear looking slovenly or unkempt. “I have to say I am entirely the culprit,” Samantha said during an appearance on British talk show Loose Women on Monday. “As we know the media can take very unflattering photographs of people on their casual days and blow it way out of proportion. I said, you know, the world has no idea you’re getting in shape, doing healthy things. They don’t photograph you buying vegetables and PH water. They photograph you as unflattering ways as they can.”“Let me clarify, he’s 73, which makes him a bit more fragile,” she said. “He’s a quiet man. I feel that the media have unfairly preyed on him. He’s really been admirable about laying low and not speaking out, with all due respect. I merely wanted him to be seen in a respectable light. I didn’t feel that was being done so I suggested that the photographers show him as he is, doing positive things and that was never addressed.”The Palace had no comment.