Thomas Markle collaborated with LA photographer Jeff Reyner to stage photos of himself reading British books and magazines in preparation for the royal wedding. According to different sources, these photos were sold for thousands of dollars. Weird? Maybe. Bad enough to ditch your daughter’s wedding? Probably not.
The Daily Mail claims that witnesses saw the photographer and Markle arriving together at different locations, taking the images, and then leaving together.
The pair took a few pictures at a cafe, and then went to a tailor shop to photograph Markle getting fitted for a suit. Since the store was closed, Markle and Reyner asked for the help of an employee from a neighboring shop, who was paid to pose as a tailor. “I just went along with it. I was telling him the measurements, but he didn’t write them down or anything,” said the employee, David Flores. “It was really strange.”
According to Vanity Fair, Samantha Markle, Meghan Markle’s half-sister, took full responsibility for the staged photographs. “The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault,” she tweeted. “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. We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money.”
Kensington Palace released a statement saying that this was a “Deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding. She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”
While Jeff Reyner declined to comment, TMZ claims that Thomas Markle will not attend the royal wedding since he’ll be undergoing emergency heart surgery.