Meghan Markle is not happy that her father, Thomas Markle, was caught seemingly staging photos with the paparazzi less than a week before she is set to marry Prince Harry, a source close to Meghan exclusively tells Us Weekly.
“Meghan is upset and disturbed by the entire ordeal and just wants to move past it,” the source tells Us. “She doesn’t want to let anything ruin her day and is trying to keep focus on the weekend.”
The insider adds that Meghan’s relationship with her father “has always been strained” because of “his ill thought-out decisions and his lack of responsibility.”
The Daily Mail published footage on Sunday, May 13, of Thomas arriving at an internet cafe in Mexico with a photographer named Jeff Rayner. In the photos, Thomas and Rayner seemingly work together to find the best angle to take a picture of the 73-year-old sitting at a computer reading a news story about Meghan and Harry.
A day later, Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, took responsibility for the photo scandal.
“The bad press over my father… is my fault. The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family,” Samantha wrote in a since-deleted tweet on Monday, May 14, according to a screenshot obtained by the Daily Mail. “We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money.”
The source tells Us that Samantha “playing a role” in the photo scandal “wasn’t a surprise to Meghan at all.”
“Meghan is disappointed that her father hasn’t spoken up and stopped his children from trashing her in the press,” the source tells Us. “Instead, she sees his collaboration with Samantha, who Meghan feels he is much closer to, and it hurts her.”
This is not the first time that Thomas has been photographed by the paparazzi. In the past few months, he has been seen reading a book about London in a Starbucks, photographed getting fitted for his wedding tux and spotted working out outside. The Daily Mail alleges that all of the photographs have been staged and claims Kensington Palace previously warned reporters to respect Thomas’ privacy.
Harry’s communications secretary revealed on May 4 that the prince has yet to meet his future father-in-law. The statement released by the palace added that the couple are “very much looking forward to welcoming” Meghan’s family for the nuptials, and confirmed reports that Thomas is going to walk his daughter down the aisle.
The former Suits actress and Harry are set to wed at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19.
With reporting by Jennifer Peros.
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