HAMMING IT UP
Meghan Markle’s Dad Under Fire for ‘Staged Photos’ Ahead of Royal Wedding
Thomas Markle’s collaboration with a paparazzi photographer may prove to be an embarrassment for the royal family.
When Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle was photographed in a series of humorous and apparently candid shots, engaged in such entertaining activities as checking the internet for news about his daughter’s forthcoming wedding to Prince Harry, being measured, apparently for his wedding suit, and reading a book entitled, Images of Britain in a branch of Starbucks, many suspicious picture editors felt there was something fishy about the image.
Now, depressing confirmation has been provided by British newspaper The Mail on Sunday that Markle colluded and collaborated with a paparazzi photographer to take the images.
It is not known whether he was paid for his participation, or whether he was persuaded that supplying some images would be a sensible way to manage the media interest in him. It is not uncommon for press photographers to try and convince subjects to pose for photographs by telling them that once images are widely available, they will be less likely to be dogged by other paparazzi.
Kensington Palace refused to comment on The Mail’s story to The Daily Beast, but we understand that there is no change to the plan for Mr. Markle to walk his daughter down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday.
However, the fact that Markle did collaborate with a well-known paparazzi photographer, British snapper Jeff Rayner, 44, is a huge embarrassment for Kensington Palace, which sent out stern letters in recent weeks ordering journalists to stay away from Meghan’s dad, saying he had been “followed and harassed” by photographers and journalists.
However, The Mail on Sunday has obtained CCTV imagery which clearly shows Markle cooperating with the photographer in an internet café to have his picture taken.
They even have quotes and corroboration from staff members, who describe Markle and the photographer walking into the premises together for him to be photographed.
The famous photograph of Markle being measured with a measuring tape was staged at a party shop after a nearby tailor’s was closed, The Mail says.
The shop assistant shown measuring Markle’s waist has told The Mail on Sunday that Mr. Markle even produced the tape measure himself.
The assistant said that Markle tipped him $15 after he pretended to measure him up.
A Starbucks employee who claims to have served Markle a coffee on the occasion when he was photographed reading a book entitled Images of Britain told The Mail on Sunday that Markle had arrived at the shop with the photographer, suggesting the image was carefully choreographed.
The revelation that Meghan’s father has collaborated with press photographers will likely come as a huge disappointment to Prince Harry and his bride.
Harry’s hatred of the paparazzi is well known; he has frequently and publicly blamed them for the death of his mother, who died in a car crash in Paris underpass while the car was being chased by paparazzi photographers.
It is estimated that the pictures would have earned around $100,000 in international syndication rights, however it is emphasized by The Mail that they do not know whether Mr. Markle was paid for his cooperation.