Thomas Markle Jr, 51, has arrived in the UK and has changed his tune about his sister calling her the perfect modern princess
Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother has become the latest relative to turn up in the UK uninvited and called her a ‘perfect princess’ weeks after advising Prince Harry to dump her.
Thomas Markle Jr, 51, posed outside Windsor Castle last night and praised his sister despite spending much of his time calling their wedding a ‘fake fairy tale’.
He also said his father Thomas will be heartbroken to miss Saturday’s wedding because of heart surgery and the scandal of his paparazzi deal.
Mr Markle Jr had recently penned an ‘open letter’ and told Harry: ‘As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.’
He also described Meghan elsewhere as ‘acting phoney’ and claimed she was ‘trying to reinvent herself as the new Princess Diana’.
But as he arrived in the UK yesterday – despite not getting a wedding invite – he appears to have changed his tune about his half-sister.
He told the Daily Mirror: ‘My sister’s going to be one of the best things ever to have happened to the royal family. She will be the perfect modern princess. I wish Meg and Harry nothing but a happy and healthy future together.’
He added: ‘My dad will be heartbroken that he cannot be with Meg in Windsor to walk her down the aisle. He would have moved heaven and earth to be there’.
He also blamed the royal family for failing to give him ‘guidance’ as he embarrassed his sister.
He said: ‘My letter wasn’t intended to cause hurt or upset. I’d hoped my letter might shame the palace, I guess, into getting in touch.
‘I was wrong. It wasn’t designed to humiliate Meg into inviting me, but more hoping we could get the help we needed. Ever since her relationship with Harry emerged two years ago, our lives have been changed forever.
‘We needed guidance from the royals but didn’t get it.’
Thomas Jr previously told DailyMail.com his father was ‘struggling’ ahead of the wedding and will now be ‘heartbroken’ to miss it
Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, reportedly pleaded with her father to walk her down the aisle
Their father Thomas has heart problems and yesterday had surgery, so looks unlikely to be well enough to fly to the UK from his home in Mexico.
US website TMZ, which claims to have been in contact with Mr Markle all week, reported that he ‘seemed alert and coherent’ and said doctors had implanted up to three stents in his blood vessels.
He said: ‘I’m okay. It will take a long time to heal. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited.’
Miss Markle’s nephew, Tyler Dooley, has said he hopes his grandfather will travel but said: ‘We’ll just have to wait and see.’
Meghan, 36, has told the former Hollywood lighting director that she is standing by him after weekend allegations that he was paid by a paparazzi photographer to take part in a series of staged pictures in the run up to the big day.
Mr Markle has appeared to flip-flop over whether he will attend his daughter’s wedding, at first appearing to say that he would not, then saying that he did not want to miss being a part of history before then changing his mind again to say it would depend on whether doctors would release him from hospital.
The episode has been a huge embarrassment to Buckingham Palace and has left aides facing questions over their handling of their issue.
Sources insisted, however, that strenuous efforts have been made to help Mr Markle, who is said to be a ‘proud’ man and reluctant to take help from his daughter.
They said that Meghan and Harry were forging ahead with their final preparations.
Friends of the couple told the Mail that while Meghan is ‘deeply concerned’ about her father’s physical and mental health, she is determined to focus on what she has left to do.
Meghan’s sister-in-law Tracy Dooley has not been invited to the wedding but was pictured arriving at Heathrow airport on Monday
Meghan’s sister-in-law Tracy Dooley (centre), her son Tyler Dooley and his girlfriend Sandra Bazan (left) made their way out of the international airport having flown in from their home in Oregon
Her best friend Jessica Mulroney has arrived with her three children – Ivy, Brian and John – who were yesterday announced as being among the couple’s ten bridesmaids and pageboys.
Meanwhile Miss Ragland, a yoga instructor, flew into Heathrow on an overnight flight from Los Angeles.
Dressed casually in a T-shirt, linen trousers and canvas pumps, and carrying a suit bag containing what is believed to be her Burberry wedding outfit, she was picked up from the steps of the aircraft by a royal fleet Jaguar.
She was driven to Heathrow’s VIP Windsor suite, where Miss Markle’s personal assistant Amy Pickerill was waiting with an immigration officer. A member of staff from the private office carried her bags. Miss Ragland, described as a ‘free spirit’ by her daughter and ‘amazing’ by Harry, was taken to Kensington Palace where she will stay until Friday.
She will not have long to shake off any effects of jet lag. It is thought she will meet the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in the next 24 hours.
On the night before the wedding she and her daughter will move with the bridal party to historic Cliveden, a 25-minute drive from Windsor Castle.
It is widely thought that, should her former husband, with whom she is said to be ‘barely on speaking terms’, fail to show, it will be Miss Ragland who has the task of walking her daughter down the aisle.
Some royal insiders have also raised the possibility that Prince Charles might step in to do the honours.
Senior royal sources dismissed reports that the ongoing family ‘soap opera’ had caused opprobrium in the Royal Family.
‘Let’s just say that this is a family well used to personal dramas and everyone feels desperately sorry for Meghan, particularly as it has all happened just days before her wedding day,’ said one.
‘At the end of the day, her father is his own man and she cannot control him.
‘Everyone could not be more supportive of her. Everything is going ahead as planned.’