The rumour: Meghan’s dad staged those adorable paparazzi shotsLet’s Not Kid Ourselves: Meghan Markle Can’t Change What The Monarchy Represents
Where you heard it: The Mail on Sunday
The report: In case you missed it: In recent weeks, the world has been treated to super sweet photos of Thomas Markle getting ready for his big trip across the pond. The collection of awwwww-inducing snaps show dear old dad getting fitted for a suit, brushing up on his daughter’s Wikipedia page at an Internet café and browsing a British picture book at a Starbucks. In other words … Thomas Markle is “just like us,” or at least that’s how it seemed until The Mail reported the images were the result of a staged collaboration between Markle Sr. and a photographer named Jeff Rayner.
The smell test: It’s hard to argue with CCTV footage that shows Markle senior and Rayner arriving together and engaging what appears to be some pre-shoot choreography. Also pretty incriminating is the fact Papa Markle is wearing the same navy polo shirt and hoodie combo in three out of the four supposedly staged scenarios, meaning either he really needs to do some shopping or a bunch of the photos were taken on the same day.
The rumour: Thomas Markle won’t attend the royal wedding
Where you heard it: TMZ
The report: In a story that quotes Thomas Markle directly, TMZ reveals that Meghan’s dad has decided not to attend the wedding because he is embarrassed about the whole paparazzi scandal and doesn’t want to further humiliate his daughter. Markle Sr. explains to TMZ that he did the photos not for the money but for the chance to improve his image since previous legit paparazzi photos showed him buying beer and looking disheveled. (He wasn’t exactly looking débonnaire in the staged photos, but we digress.) The same TMZ story says that Markle Sr. suffered a heart attack six days ago, though apparently, he had planned to check himself out of the hospital in time for the wedding, so it’s unclear whether his health is also a factor.
The smell test: Getting a proper whiff has proven downright impossible, as the story continues to evolve faster than Prince William’s hairline. Barely a week ago, Kensington Palace released a statement saying that Meghan’s dad would be escorting her down the aisle, but that was before the faked photo scandal. Yesterday there was another official statement from a KP rep: “This is 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.” On Tuesday morning TMZ revealed that TM had changed his mind (again!), and was hoping to make it, but a few hours later that report was again reversed. Per the latest info: While Papa Markle’s figurative heart will be in England come Saturday, his literal heart needs an emergency operation that will keep him stateside for the near future.
The rumour: Markle family members are arriving in London … without wedding invitesOur Lemon-Elderflower Cupcakes Deliver All The Royal Wedding Feels
Where you hear it: TMZ
The report: It’s no secret that the extended Markle family makes the Kardashians look classy — coming out from the woodwork any time there is glory or attention or cash on the table — and even when there isn’t. And now, with just a few days until “I do,” a crew of nephews and an ex-half sister-in-law have touched down in London. They don’t have wedding invites, but according to TMZ they have arrived in Jolly Olde England for a reason: to appear on Good Morning Britain, “presumably dishing family deets for Saturday’s big day.”
The smell test: The Markles appeared on GMB back in March, so it makes sense that they would return for more, particularly since they probably scored free flights and cash for their trouble (and since concepts like shame and dignity are clearly not a factor). The TMZ article includes what appears to be photographic evidence (i.e. the unwanted relations arriving at Heathrow airport). The real question is: What the heck are they carrying in those 12 oversized suitcases?
The rumour: The Queen snubbed Meghan in her wedding consent note
Where you heard it: Yahoo! News
The report: Yes, this again. In accordance with royal tradition, the Queen’s must give her consent to the union of Meghan and Harry, not once, but twice via the issuing of two royal documents signed by Her Majesty. When doc #1 went public back in March, people noticed that the Queen had failed to describe Meghan as “trusty” and “well beloved,” which is how she referred to Kate Middleton in the consent forms for her marriage to Prince William. The assumption was that QE2 was saving her affectionate adjectives for this second letter of consent, which was signed over the weekend and includes a visual hat tip to Markle’s California roots (in the form of the state flower). But still, she wasn’t called “trusty” or “well-beloved,” which is a clear sign that the Queen prefers Kate … or is it?
The smell test: According to a number of royal experts, the difference between the two consent forms has nothing to do with a preference for one granddaughter-in-law over the other, but rather the fact that Middleton is a British citizen and only Brits (and members of The Commonwealth) get to be “trusty and well-beloved.” Which smells sound — not because Her Majesty wouldn’t have a favourite, but because (unlike certain Markle family members), she is the last person on Earth who would air such a preference in public.