How TMZ Took Over the Narrative of Meghan and Prince Harry’s Wedding

Instead of telling Kensington Palace he wasn't attending the wedding, Thomas Markle told TMZ.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson

The Kensington Palace — and Britain’s royal family — usually has tight control over every aspect of the events they put on, including coronations and weddings. But then, Thomas Markle, father of soon-to-be-married Meghan Markle, gave TMZ the reins over the Palace. This week, the royal family lost control of the narrative of Meghan and Harry’s wedding when Thomas Markle decided to tell TMZ that he would be attending, and then that he would not be attending, the royal wedding.

Over the past few days, Meghan’s father admitted to faking paparazzi photos, then declared he was too embarrassed to come to the wedding and walk Meghan down the aisle, and then that he did want to come to the wedding, and then that he couldn’t because he is having heart surgery just days before the wedding. As of now, Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, will likely walk her daughter down the aisle. Throughout the whole saga, the Kensington Palace had no idea what was going on, and just like the rest of us, kept finding out through TMZ.

Relations between the palace and reporters have been strained recently, so the palace did not do what it previously would have (called a few key journalists and told them the truth, that they didn’t know what was going on or if her dad was coming), and instead essentially said, “Meghan is sad about her dad, stop asking questions.”

The biggest question is why TMZ? The site’s founder, Harvey Levin, said that they did not pay Thomas Markle any money to participate and Markle didn’t ask for anything. TMZ started reaching out, and finally, he answered. Maybe it is as simple as that — the palace didn’t make the same effort to engage.

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