Weddings

Meghan Markle’s Family Drama Is Making the Royal Family More Relatable

Oh yes, we all have a crazy uncle somewhere in the bunch. 

Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle is officially out. He won’t be attending her royal wedding after all, Kensington Palace confirmed with a statement from Meghan.

“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health,” she said. “I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”

Kensington Palace had originally announced that Thomas would be walking Meghan down the aisle to Prince Harry, but after he staged wedding-themed pictures with paparazzi then had a heart attack (from the guilt?), he’s no longer on the guest list. According to TMZ, he will undergo surgery for his heart to clear a blockage.

It is likely Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, will walk her down the aisle instead.

Meanwhile, Meghan’s older half-sister, Samantha Grant, 53, has been writing a book titled, The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister, and has not spoken to Meghan since 2008. Obviously, she is not invited to the wedding.

Half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. wanted an invite to the wedding and didn’t get one after he told the press Harry was making a huge mistake.

According to British Royal Family commentator Eloise Parker, this has all been a nit much for the normally reserved family. But for the rest of us, well, who doesn’t have a crazy family? We can all relate to this insanity.

“The Royal Family has this longstanding rule they live by, ‘never explain, never complain,’ that they’ve stuck to for decades,” Parker says. “They’ve maintained an intense level of mystique and that doesn’t do damage to their reputations, it allows for a private life. It leaves people on the outside enough curiosity to maintain interest. On reality shows you’ve seen everything but peoples internal organs, wit the royals, people didn’t know enough about them to get sick of them.”

The family has managed over the years to keep everything in the realm of British aristocracy, even with Kate Middleton, who wasn’t officially a royal, but mixed with aristocrats and was basically one of them culturally.

“This is the first time we’ve seen someone outside British culture marry into the Royal Family, and at a time when global media attention has never been so intense,” Parker says. “Diana was behind this very closed wall and Meghan is completely the opposite. Her family are regular Americans, probably no more dysfunctional than our families. She’s been unable to close then off from the spotlight.”

Since she started dating Harry, Meghan’s family — and their drama — have been exposed, but it’s actually relatable. Whose family doesn’t fight? They may not be in the world media, but everyone’s got crazy somewhere in the lineage.

“The Royal Family has beed forced to reexamine their strategy, some said they’ve not looked after the Markles enough,’ says Parker. “Meghan’s mom flying in three or four days before weeding raises questions. Why she hasn’t been ensconced with the royals for two to three weeks at this point?
I would have expected to see a bit more effort to help them get through this insane media barrage. While it may have humanized the royals, I’m not sure it’s made them relatable in the way they want…What they’re actually becoming is the next Kardashians.”

The New York Times reported that Meghan's background is especially hard to hide in Britain, "no matter how successful you are or how much your life has diverged from that of your relatives."

"And so the British tabloids have for some months been treating the family of Meghan Markle, the American actress who is to marry Prince Harry on Saturday, like the stars of some sort of reality show: The Real Dysfunctional Families of America," they wrote. 

"Other people’s family squabbles can be diverting to read about, if you like that sort of thing, until they are not ... Every family has its unsavory secrets and internecine squabbles, of course, and Ms. Markle is particularly vulnerable because she is American and of mixed race, and because her family — including divorced parents, estranged siblings, self-promoting loose cannons and people who, if you look far enough, have been on the wrong side of the law — so easily lends itself to shallow stereotypes about class and race in the United States."

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