‘Meghan’s father debacle would not have happened if Diana was alive’

‘Meghan’s father debacle would not have happened if Diana was alive’

Every bride finds the final days in the run-up to her wedding rather fraught. It doesn’t matter how meticulous the planning has been, something always goes awry.

That said, poor Meghan Markle seems to be having more than her fair share of pre-wedding stress. At a time when all she should be thinking about are last-minute finishing touches, she and Prince Harry are having to deal with a full-blown family crisis.

At the time I write, it’s uncertain whether Meghan’s father — 73-year-old Thomas — will fly to the UK for Saturday’s royal wedding following revelations that he accepted money from a paparazzo to stage a series of cheesy pictures.

After his conduct was exposed, the poor man — who is clearly not in the best of health — was so mortified he decided to pull out of giving his daughter away on her big day. Last night he appeared to have had a change of heart.

Meghan is naturally distraught at the prospect of not having her father walk her down the aisle; and Harry, we are told, is fuming, blaming himself — and the media — for the inevitable pressures brought about by association with royalty.

If it were me, I’d be tempted to call the whole damn circus off and just tie the knot quietly in private, well away from the cameras. Too late now, of course — but why they didn’t just do that in the first place is slightly baffling.

Prince Harry’s fiancee Meghan Markle, pictured as a child with her father Thomas who has been at the centre of a scandal over staged pictures 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had asked Meghan’s father to walk her down the aisle, but he staged photos of himself looking longingly at this engagement picture in an internet cafe in Mexico

After all, as a couple Harry and Meghan seem so determined to defy convention and royal protocol that you might have thought a big meringue wedding would have been the last thing on their minds. Especially since it’s Meghan’s second time around.

As for Harry, bearing in mind what he said in 2016 about wanting to protect Meghan and her family from the attention that comes with the Royal Family, surely it would have been the easiest thing in the world to use their wellbeing as an excuse for keeping the whole thing low key.

But that is not how Meghan and Harry have chosen to play it. On the contrary: their nuptials — and all the carefully managed publicity in the run-up — seem to have been engineered to garner as much attention as possible for the couple, who have cast themselves as the hip face of the modern Royal Family.

Even their stylish official engagement pictures, shot in the grounds of Kensington Palace with Meghan in a £56,000 couture dress, would not have looked out of place in Vogue. Not to say there is anything wrong with that approach; just that it is not exactly the behaviour of a couple who are keen to avoid the limelight.

Given all that, and the amount of effort that seems to have gone into managing th

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