Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are due to marry this Saturday, and while Harry belongs to the most famous family in Britain, there has been a lot to learn about the bride-to-be’s American relations in the lead up to the wedding.
Slowly, however, the public has been introduced to the family of future royalty via the press – and it’s not always made for comfortable viewing.
Just this weekend Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle Snr – who Kensington Palace confirmed will be walking his daughter down the aisle on May 19th – was the subject of a sensational report by the Daily Mail that pap photos of him were faked.
The photos – which have kept us all entertained for the last month or so – showed Meghan’s Dutch-Irish father is various situations such as reading an Images of Britain picture book in a Starbucks in Mexico, getting fitted for a tuxedo, doing weights, and scrolling articles about the royal wedding in an internet cafe.
Despite repeated requests for the paparazzi to leave the famously private Mr Markle alone, the paper claims Meghan’s dad worked with the paps to stage the photos and might have even profited from them.
The paper obtained photos and CCTV footage of Meghan’s father arriving at the internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner.
The bride-to-be, nor her father or the royal family have released a statement on the matter yet.
While the news is bound to have given Meghan a headache just a week before her wedding day, it’s not the first time Meghan’s family scandals have made headlines.
Thomas Markle Jr’s interviews
It’s been no secret that there has been bitterness between Meghan and her half-brother Thomas Markle Jr, one of two siblings on her father’s side.
After being vocal about his disappointment at not receiving an invite to his sister’s wedding (aside from her parents, Doria Radlan and Thomas Markle Snr, the bride-to-be has not invited any other members of her family), Thomas’s interviews about his estranged sister have only increased.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Thomas Markle Jr claimed Meghan is “tearing the family apart”.
“Meg likes to portray herself as a humanitarian, a people’s person and a charitable person but she is none of those things to her family,” he said.
The 51-year-old continued, “She is giving the greatest performance of her life. She is acting phoney. Once she got into Hollywood she turned into a different person. She’s clearly forgotten her roots and her family.
“There’s a whole different side of her that has started to surface and it’s ugly to see. I’ve read that Meg wants to be like Diana. Diana was worshipped by everyone in the world. She was loved for the right reasons.”
Thomas Markle Jr’s open letter to Prince Harry
Meghan’s half brother took his feelings one step further in April when he penned an open letter to Prince Harry advising him to call off the wedding.
Sharing his letter with In Touch magazine, he advised Harry that Meghan is “obviously not the right woman” for him, and is a “jaded, shallow, conceited woman”.
He also says that Meghan – who he’s previously mentioned he hasn’t seen since 2011 – will make a “joke” of Prince Harry and the “royal family heritage”.
Click below for everything you need to know about Harry and Meghan’s romance…
“It’s not to [sic] late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you,” it reads.
“As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.
“I’m confused why you don’t see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees, Meghan’s attempt to get the part of a princess like a below C average Hollywood actress is getting old.”
Samantha Markle’s interviews
Samantha Grant – who conveniently changed her name back to Markle in recent months – has also rarely been out of the press with interviews about her half-sister since news of her engagement to Harry broke.
Samantha, who shares the same father as Meghan like Thomas, claimed in a 2016 interview with The Sun that her little sister is “narcissistic”, “shallow” and bent on “social climbing”.
She claimed: “Hollywood has changed her. I think her ambition is to become a princess.
“I think her ambition is to become a princess … The truth would kill her relationship with Prince Harry.”
In a later interview in December 2017 with BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Samantha criticised Prince Harry for calling the royals “the family [Meghan] never had”.
“Actually she [Meghan] has a large family who were always there with her and for her,” she said.
“Our household was very normal and when dad and Doria divorced, we all made it so it was like she had two houses.
“No one was estranged — she was just too busy.”
Like her brother, Samantha (rather unsurprisingly) didn’t receive an invite to the wedding.
Upon discovering that 2000 member of the public would be invited to the nuptials, Samantha took to Twitter, saying: “Out of respect and humanitarianism, the Markles should be invited if 2,000 complete strangers are.”
She added: “Our uncle, brother, me, best friend of 30 years, nephews. Our issue is not a matter of closeness. Family is family.”
Samantha Markle’s tell-all memoir: The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister
In September 2017 it was revealed that Samantha Markle had pitched an idea for a book to publishers with the working title The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
Explaining the title to the Daily Mail, Samantha said: “The title is a mockery of the media.”
She went on: “It wasn’t me who called Meg ‘pushy.’ It was the tabloid newspapers. She is not pushy. The book isn’t going to be negative—it’s a warm, witty, honoring book—unfortunately, the negative sing-song has gone round the world.”
In March, Samantha decided to change the title of the book to A Tale of Two Sisters, claiming the former title was misleading and confusing.
Tyler Dooley’s and ‘Markle’s Sparkle’
He claimed the batch would be called ‘Markle’s Sparkle’.
Meghan Markle’s nephew and his mum have not received an invitation to the Royal Wedding but say they’re proudly supporting her. pic.twitter.com/LrMb8WCszh
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) March 26, 2018
Despite not receiving an invite to the wedding, Dooley told the paper that he’d be “more than happy” to offer the couple a sample of the batch should they choose to visit.
What an image.
Read more from Yahoo Style UK: