I Sympathise with Mr Markle - but This Hasn't Helped Palace's Plea for Privacy; ANALYSIS

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 13, 2018 | Go to article overview

I Sympathise with Mr Markle - but This Hasn't Helped Palace's Plea for Privacy; ANALYSIS


Byline: ROBERT JOBSON ROYAL AUTHOR

AS AN experienced Royal observer, I have profound sympathy for Thomas Markle Snr, the reclusive father of Harry's bride, Meghan. After all, he didn't ask to be thrust into the media spotlight.

Throughout months of intense public interest, he has wisely chosen to remain silent.

He hasn't yet met the Royals. Rather, he has chosen to live in small-town Mexico, more than 5,000 miles away from St George's Chapel.

It must be daunting to know that the world will be watching as he walks his daughter down the aisle. It is all the stranger, then, to learn that he has engaged in a sequence of staged photo stunts in the build-up to the wedding.

The resulting pictures, sold and syndicated around the world for large sums, appeared to give a candid and amusing insight into his preparations for his daughter's big day. Some observers thought them too good to be true - and so it has proved.

Mail on Sunday enquiries have shown beyond doubt that, far from being snapped in the street by chance as he went about his business, Mr Markle had posed deliberately for a paparazzi agency - stunts that are best described as fake news. He even supplied his own props.

Was it a naive attempt to 'manage' the media interest in him? Did he do it in return for money? Either way, the enterprise has been a mistake.

It is unquestionably a very difficult time for anyone who feels the full glare of publicity, and his friends say he has been stressed and distressed by it. Again, I sympathise. But colluding with the paparazzi does not help his case, particularly as the most famous father of the bride who inevitably had so much attention on him in the build up to the big day. …

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